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“Quick Intro to Desert”

Desert Ecology Trail
Ranked #111 of 320 things to do in Tucson
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Owner description: Hiking trail in Saguaro East.
Reviewed 22 February 2017

This flat, paved, quarter-mile loop marks the first trail stop for those driving the park's Cactus Forest Loop Drive. We stopped and parked in one of the spaces here on a weekday morning when no one else was around. I had a friend with me, visiting from the West Coast, and she was interested in learning more about desert ecology. We had come to the right place. Nicely presented information signs along the short route give many details about the area's flora and fauna, including trees and cactus on both sides of the path.

A tiny bird atop a tall saguaro signaled our arrival and briefly watched our progress along the trail. But we saw no other wildlife during our 20-minute jaunt. Many benches without shade stood ready to give visitors an opportunity to rest. The sun also beat down on the path, and I was glad I wore a hat on this bright, cloudless day.

The trail is wheelchair accessible and an extremely easy walk for just about anyone. I think it is especially worth a stop for newcomers to this park.

2  Thank Rumples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 16 reviews

Reviewed 3 February 2017

Since this is almost in our backyard, we come here often. Love the Loop drive through the Park. However, we have never walked this Trail, as the small parking lot was always full. There are about seven parking spots there, and a few times, we have seen the overflow parked almost on the road. Today (2/2), we came upon this spot, and there was not one car in the lot. So, walked this very easy, paved trail, and enjoyed it very much. It's a self-guided loop, which takes you through a small desert area. There are some information boards, and quite a few benches.

Driving the Cactus Forest Drive through Saguaro National Park can take some time, as the speed limit is 15 miles per hour. If the vehicle in front of you is barely creeping along, it can take much longer. This Trail is about midpoint, so it's nice to get out, stretch your legs, and take a very easy and pleasant walk.

3  Thank NYU62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2017

This is a short .25 mile paved loop that introduces folks to the plants and animals they will see during their visit. Great for kids, strollers, and folks who use mobility assist devices (wheelchairs, walkers, etc).

3  Thank Andy f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2016 via mobile

My granddaughter and I walked on this trail while visiting the park. The entire trail was blacktop and a very short walk. It's not at all strenuous. It's a nice opportunity to walk thru the dessert and see all the different types of plant life that grows here in AZ.

2  Thank JubileeJerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 April 2016 via mobile

Just 1/4 mile with some signs telling about some of the vegetation. It was a quickly easy little trail. I enjoyed it but wouldn't want to do it again.

Thank Natsy42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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