Little of this, little of that
This is a nice loop in the Rincon Mountains, in the eastern district of Saguaro National Park. It pieces together many of the trails in the Cactus Forest area of the park, in the western foothills of the Rincons. The distant point of the loop is a spur trail out to Bridal Wreath Falls off the Douglas Spring Trail. These are nice little falls, with intermittent flow depending on how much rain/snow there's been recently.
From the popular Douglas Spring Trailhead at the end of Speedway, take off on the Douglas Spring trail. You immediately are immersed in pristine Sonoran Desert with every kind of cactus imaginable. Immediately is a signed junction to your right for the Garwood Trail. Keep going for another 0.4 miles to another signed intersection for the Wentworth Trail. Stay on the Douglas Spring trail. This is about where the climbing starts and the views really pick up. The trail climbs up a canyon into the Rincon foothills. After another 0.4 miles there is another signed intersection on your right for the Carrillo trail. Again stay on the Douglas Spring. After gaining a little over 1000 feet the trail will level out a bit as you enter low to mid-altitude grasslands. The views are sweeping and you can see into the Rincon highcountry as well. You parallel a small canyon with tiny pools, then cross over it. 1.2 miles from the last intersection there will be another signed junction with the Three Tanks trail, which you will come back to. About 0.2 miles from here is the signed take off for Bridal Wreath Falls. Take off on this pleasant little spur for 0.3 miles. There is interesting flora along the way. Today there was a fine coat of bright green grass about the mesquites and junipers along the way. The trail makes an easy creek crossing then ends up at the falls. The falls are not huge or dramatic, but they are very nice. Maybe 15-20 feet or so with some nice trees and large boulders strewn about. You can climb up the left side of the canyon to get above the falls and scramble around the upper reaches of the small canyon feeding them to see some more little falls and multiple small pools. This area is a great place to hang out and explore.
Go back the way you came to the intersection with Three Tanks Trail and take it. This nice trail wanders out over the broad ridge of the foothills, crossing over multiple little gulleys and washes fed by the impressive canyons above you and to your left. The views to the left are impressive of the Rincon highcountry, and to the right far out over Tucson. It gradually starts losing elevation. The first tank is a little ditch to your left called Aguila Tank. From here the trail descends down a small canyon with little pools along the way. This is very nice. After 1.5 miles on Three Tanks it ends at Steel Tank. This is a large steel tank with piped in water, and it feeds a smaller cement tank. The tank is filled with goldfish, a most random sight to see.
A sign here marks the Carrillo Trail. Take this trail as it descends sharply out of the foothills for about 0.8 miles to an intersection with the Wild Horse Trail. This pleasant little ramble crosses over pristine desert and makes multiple intersections. In about 0.9 miles it intersects the Garwood trail. Take a right on this trail and follow it roughly 0.8 miles until it dead ends back at the Douglas Spring trail where you hang a left and almost immediately are back at your car.
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.