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Mica View - Cactus Forest Loop, AZ

AZ > Tucson > Tucson E
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Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson E
3.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,820 feet
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.25
Backpack Connecting Only
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
3  2014-02-13 amcole6
10  2008-09-10 domromer
5  2008-03-24 Roxyflute5
31  2008-03-11 PaleoRob
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 159
Routes 158
Photos 5,594
Trips 998 map ( 2,260 miles )
Age 39 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:42am - 7:14pm
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
A fast hike through the saguaro forest
by PaleoRob

The Mica View-Cactus Forest trail is an easy two mile loop that starts out from the Mica View picnic site along the north end of the Rincon Mountain District's loop drive, makes its way through a saguaro nursery, up to the Broadway Trailhead and back down to the Mica View picnic area. Along the way it winds through towering cactus forests and Palo Verde scrub, with great views of the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains.

The trail heads north from the Mica View picnic area and parking lot. This section of the trail is flat, and basically heads straight north. It passes through areas where young saguaros are still growing under their nursery trees, primarily Palo Verdes. Mature saguaros begin to appear in greater frequency after the first 1/10th of a mile. This section of trail is the Mica View portion of the trail, and it dead ends at Broadway Road and the Broadway Trailhead.

The trail heads east briefly, drops into a small wash, and then climbs and branched to the right again, onto the Cactus Forest trail. This section of the trail has more elevation change, as it crosses several washes. This trail should not be attempted during times when water is flowing in the washes, as crossing moving water in the wash bottoms can be very dangerous.

The Cactus Forest trail follows a series of ridges south until it reaches another signed trail intersection; the Mica View Trail South. This short spur takes you the 1/10th of a mile back to the northwest, crossing yet another wash. Beyond the wash is the trailhead. Another alternate way to extend the hike a bit is to continue south on the Cactus Forest trail to the loop road, and then hike west down the side of the road to the Mica View road. Hike up the Mica View road back to the trailhead. The distance listed however is without this optional extension.

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2008-03-12 PaleoRob
  • 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
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.

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

Effective January 1, 2020 entrance fees to the park will be $25 per vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, $15 for individual pedestrian or bicycle, and an annual park pass will cost $45.

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Take Old Spanish Trail east from Houghton approximately 3.5 miles to the entrance of Saguaro National Park. From the entrance station, take the one-way loop road to the Mica View Picnic Area spur road. Park at the end of the Mica View Road at the Mica View picnic area. Take the trail north from the parking lot.

Alternately this loop can be done from the Broadway trailhead. Simply take Broadway east until it dead-ends at the trailhead.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool
11.5 inch Teflon Coated Umbrella
Super Wide Brim Sun Hat for Men or Women
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