register help

Encinas Trail, AZ

29 7 0
Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Tucson W
2.5 of 5 by 2
clicktap icons for details
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
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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 fricknaley
author avatar Guides 93
Routes 383
Photos 3,724
Trips 2,746 map ( 18,187 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Mar
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:12am - 6:23pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Flora Nearby
A Simple Desert Walk
by fricknaley

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 1930's 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 off 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 widesweeping 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.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2008-12-04 fricknaley
  • 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 Review
Encinas Trail
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Did a nice loop from Ez-Kim-in-Zin parking lot...I did all of Encinas, then hiked the 0.4 mi back to Cactus Wren and took it south to Signal Hill. From Signal Hill I followed the road out of that picnic area to the Wild Dog Trail. I took Wild Dog to the end, then did Valley View real quick and back, then picked up Bajada Wash heading south to Hohokam Road, where I crossed the road to pick up the west end of Hugh Norris. I took Hugh Norris to Sendero Esparanza going north to return to Ez-Kim-in-Zin parking lot.

Encinas was part wash and part old road, a slight decline down to Cactus Wren. The others were ok also...the better trail was Hugh Norris for sure. Nice views. It incidentally was the real trail with any notable elevation (though Sendero Esparanza was a quick drop of elevation from the ridgeline that Hugh Norris started off as and continued as, on the way to Amole & Wasson Peaks).

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
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
help comment issue

end of page marker