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Encinas Trail, AZ

Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.5 of 5 
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 3.35 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,964 feet
Elevation Gain -636 feet
Avg Time One Way 1-2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.41
Interest Historic
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
11  2017-09-22
Encinas Sendero Esperanza Trails
3  2014-02-20 amcole6
19  2014-02-12
Saguaro NP West Loop
7  2008-12-03 fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 389
Photos 4,125
Trips 3,359 map ( 21,700 miles )
Age 46 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  5:49am - 7:09pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

A Simple Desert Walk
by fricknaley

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This is a nice, easy walk through the desert in the heart of Saguaro National Park West. Heading out from the nice, secluded Ez-Kim-In-Zin picnic area built in the 1930s by the CCC the trail simply wanders out in the desert for a few miles before dead-ending at Sandario Road.

There is not much fancy about this hike. Simply take off from the trailhead at the picnic area and head northwest into the desert. The trail starts in a wash, breaks out and parallels, then crosses a couple more washes along the way. Every time the trail enters of crosses a wash it is signed. This is a generally sandy and slowly descending walk through the desert offering a nice sample of every variety of cactus that grows in Saguaro, especially of the namesake king of the land. Initially, there are nice views of the local hills about the picnic area. As you head away from it, you are walking towards the isolated little red dome of Apache Peak. Soon you pass north of this and keep heading northwest through the desert. After about 1.5 miles along the trail, you can see the ridgeline of Sombrero Peak and Panther Peak back to the northeast. Out ahead are wide-sweeping views of the Silver Bell Mountains and Ragged Top north of them.

After 3 miles of hiking, you will come to the signed intersection for the Cactus Wren Trail which runs north and south. Keep going beyond this for 0.4 miles to reach the signed intersection for the Manville Trail and the park boundary. A few hundred feet beyond this drops you unceremoniously off on Sandario Road, where there is no trailhead or sign for that matter. Head back the way you came, a gently 680-foot climb back to the picnic area, with great views of Wasson and Amole Peaks in front of you the whole way.

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2008-12-04 fricknaley
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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.

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 Ez-Kim-In-Zin Trailhead
From I-10 turn west onto Speedway Blvd (exit 257). Follow Speedway which turns into Gates Pass Road over Gates pass. Turn right on Kinney Road this intersection is about 9.25 miles from I-10. At about 13 miles from I-10 you will enter Saguaro National Park. Passing the Desert Museum on your left continue on to the Red Hills Information Center. Here you can pick up a map with all the park trails. This is a classy little information center with nice restrooms. Keep following Kinney Road to Bajada Loop Dr. Turn right onto the loop and follow to Golden Gate Road. Turning away from the loop and right onto Golden Gate, follow this to the Sendero Esperanza Trailhead which is clearly marked. Total distance from I-10 to the trailhead is 19.2 miles. Just before the Esperanza trailhead is the signed Ez-Kim-In-Zin picnic area on the left. Park in here, the trail takes off from the little road heading into the parking area. Leaving you can continue on Golden Gates Road to Ina which is a quick back to the freeway, I recommend driving through the park entering if it's your first time. OR From Tucson take exit 246 off I-10 and go west on Cortaro until it ends at a T. Turn right here onto Ina for a short distance, then Left onto Wade. Wade quickly becomes Picture Rocks Road and crosses through the Tucson Mountains. You'll see a couple of signs announcing Saguaro National Park. As you come down the west side of the mountains from Contzen Pass, the road swings hard to the right and then curves left. This is the Cactus Canyon trailhead. Keep going past this for roughly 2 miles until you see a brown park sign announcing the Golden Gate Road, a gravel road breaking off to the left at a sharp right turn in the road. Take this gravel road into the heart of the park for roughly 3 miles. Just past the Esperanza trailhead is the signed Ez-Kim-In-Zin picnic area on the right. Park in here, the trail takes off from the little road heading into the parking area.
page created by fricknaley on Dec 04 2008 2:03 pm
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