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Mica View - Cactus Forest Loop, AZ

Guide 6 Triplogs  0 Topics
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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
Accumulated Gain 50 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.25
Backpack Connecting Only
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
3  2014-02-13 amcole6
10  2008-09-10 domromer
5  2008-03-24 Roxyflute5
31  2008-03-11 PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 172
Routes 229
Photos 6,096
Trips 1,128 map ( 2,523 miles )
Age 41 Male Gender
Location Pocatello, ID
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar → Early
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:40am - 7:18pm
1 Alternative

A fast hike through the saguaro forest
by PaleoRob

The Mica View-Cactus Forest trail is an easy two-mile loop that starts 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 trail section 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 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
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    Rincon Mountain Distric East
  • Tucson Mountain District West
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    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
2020 $25 vehicle • $20 motorcycle • $15 individual on foot or bicycle
Receipt is valid for 7 days
$45 Annual Park Pass View All

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Take the Old Spanish Trail east from Houghton, approximately 3.5 miles to Saguaro National Park's entrance. 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 you can make this loop from the Broadway Trailhead. Simply take Broadway east until it dead-ends at the trailhead.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
prehydrate & stay hydrated

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