register help

Wildhorse Trail - Saguaro NP, AZ

94 30 0
Guide 30 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson
2 of 5 by 4
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 2.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,500 feet
Elevation Gain 500 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.77
Interest Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
10  2019-01-24
Bridal Wreath Falls Loop
4  2014-10-05 BrettVet
21  2014-01-11
Tanque Verde Peak
32  2014-01-11
Tanque Verde Peak via Wild Horse Canyon
19  2013-02-12
Bridal Wreath Falls Loop
4  2012-07-07
Shantz Trail - Saguaro NP
9  2007-08-06 BrettVet
5  2007-08-05 BrettVet
Author BrettVet
author avatar Guides 15
Routes 40
Photos 335
Trips 48 map ( 525 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jan, Dec, Feb, Mar → 9 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:10am - 6:21pm
5 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Walk in the Park
by BrettVet

The northeast corner of Saguaro National Park has a maze of trails that showcase the Sonoran cactus environment. I have hiked it for year's virtually alone because 90% of the hikes head up the Douglas Springs Trail. On weekends the Douglas Spring Trail can be single file hiking with the need for passing zones. My favorite hikes are any series of loops originating from the Wildhorse trailhead a mere 100 yards west of the Douglas Spring Trailhead. This is where all the horses enter the park, so usually there are a few horse trailers at the trailhead. The hikes out of this trailhead tend of be a flatter than the more vertical Douglas Spring trail, but can contain some of the same views.

The trail enters the park as a wide dirt path bearing to the left. Several trails intersect this main artery trail that can be added to the hike for distance and variation. Just keep going straight in the rolling desert to a large sandy wash. Follow the wash to the left about a quarter mile to steps leading out of the wash to the right. The steps will take you out of the wash. Follow the trail past more major intersections to the switchbacks. I usually cringe when I hear the work switchbacks in a trail description, but these are not bad. The trail had washed out and the Park Service spend a zillion dollars repairing the trail, the only way the government can. In this case my quads appreciated them spending the dough. As you reach the top of the ridge there is a great little canyon to the right with a seasonal waterfall. . As you top out turn around and enjoy the 180 degree view of the Catalina's and the Tucson valley. Here I always point out the Tanque Verde Guest ranch pink buildings to the north and Paul McCartney's house behind it. I knew I was getting old when I hiked this trail with a Boy Scout troop and one of the boys asked "Who is that?" The Beatles first wife went to the U of A and really liked it here and chose to die there... He very rarely is there; his second wife wasn't real keen on it.

At the next intersection the trail goes to the right down more steps into a smaller canyon and up and down a few more canyons and comes to the Three Tanks trail. It's 0.4 miles the Carrillo Trail junction. The trail continues another 0.5 miles to Wildhorse Tank.

5 Mile Loop: Take Carrillo Trail down to make it a loop hike up over the hill and begin the drop back down to the valley floor. Down a wide canyon with a large abandoned cement dam which was used by the original rancher to store water for there cattle operation. At the dam the trail follows the carved out access road and intersects two trails to the right. Take the second trail called Freight Wagon Trail . It wanders thought the desert back to the large wash and intersects the Wildhorse Trail near the trailhead.

Check out the Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-08-05 BrettVet
  • guide related image
    guide related
  • Rincon HAZ Map
    area related
    Rincon HAZ Map
  • Rincon Mountain Distric East
    area related
    Rincon Mountain Distric East
  • Tucson Mountain District West
    area related
    Tucson Mountain District West
  • SNP Cactus Forest Map
    area related
    SNP Cactus Forest Map
  • nps related
  • sub-region related

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Wildhorse Trail - Saguaro NP
rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
This was our first hike of 2013! Decided to take a short drive to the Douglas Spring Trailhead and try out our new DSLR camera lense. The hike was an easy one as we wanted to ease our way back into it after not hiking for almost a year. Not much to see if you're used to looking at cacti, at least in the winter.
Wildhorse Trail - Saguaro NP
rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
Took an evening hike to watch the sunset. Ended up staying out past dark and walking back with my headlamp.

When I was walking along the road to get back to my truck I encountered some spider marching along the road with near military precision. There were two groups of them: each about 2 feet long marching in perfect straight lines, headed due west. I have never seen anything like it before and the only thing I could think of was in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry & Ron follow the spiders that are fleeing the castle to Aragog and learn that Slytherin's Monster is a Basalisk :scared: . And thats when I realized I have read Harry Potter too many times...
Wildhorse Trail - Saguaro NP
rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
Went for a run from Broadway trailhead. Didn't really know how long of a run my legs were up for, so I just took off with no real destination in mind. It was nice and cloudy out for most of the time I was on the trail, I even had a couple small showers. Ended up running from the Broadway Trailhead, south to Loma Verde Trailhead, back north to Douglas Spring Trailhead, then swung south to Pink Hill and worked my way back to where I started. I think I covered nearly every trail between Speedway & Cactus Forest Drive!
Wildhorse Trail - Saguaro NP
rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
Middle of the day run while the thermometer read 99 degrees outside- I had the trailhead & the trails all to myself. Ran Douglas Spring Trail to Carrillo Trail, down Three Tanks, then followed Bajada Vista to Shantz Trail, backtracked to Creosote trail, and returned along the Stock Bypass.
Wildhorse Trail - Saguaro NP
rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
Trail run from the Speedway Trailhead to the Broadway Trailhead and back again. Didn't start with any specific destination in mind, just let my feet carry me and my mind wander (stuck to only right turns on the run out, and left turns on the way back). Nice day: quite sunny, but the temperature was in the 60s/70s with a nice breeze. Had two pause briefly on two occasions when I encountered horse riders. Luckily I did not encounter any rattlesnakes.

Permit $$

Saguaro National Park
2019 $20 vehicle, $15 motorcycle or $10 for any individual on foot or bicycle - the receipt is valid for 7 days Fees

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From anywhere in tucson or I-10 go east on Speedway blvd. though Tucson to the end of the road. Parking area on the right is the Douglas Spring Trailhead. The Wildhorse trailhead is 100 yards west back down Speedway.
help comment issue

end of page marker