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    Cactus Forest Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    16.1 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    156 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    If you’re on the hunt for quintessential Sonoran Desert scenery, the Cactus Forest Trail is the one. This 16.1 km hike is everything you’d want to see if you were looking for a classic desert hike, with countless towering saguaros and the mountains of Saguaro National Forest East in the distance. It’s a longer hike but it’s relatively flat and the footing is even and not rocky. This trail can get extremely hot, so avoid it in the summer months and bring more water than you think you may need.

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    Route Description for Cactus Forest Trail

    The Cactus Forest Trail stretches into Saguaro National Park East in Tucson, providing a perfect snapshot of the desert scenery this area is known for. This route is favored by hikers of all levels as well as trail runners for its even footing. Families with kids can enjoy this trail, perhaps just turning back early if the full distance is too much.

    This route gets incredibly hot in the summer months, so we recommend avoiding it when temperatures are soaring. Early morning hikes are ideal, but no matter when you visit, bring plenty of water and wear sun protection.

    From the trailhead near the road, the route heads southeast and then south. Go straight through the first junction and then keep right at the junction with Cholla Trail. Where the trail splits with Mesquite, stay right again. Cross Cactus Forest Drive, keep right where Lime Falls Trail splits off, and then continue to where the trail ends at the road. From here, turn back and retrace your steps.

    Getting to the Cactus Forest Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Cactus Forest Trail is off E Broadway Boulevard.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Cactus Forest Trail Elevation Graph

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    Cactus Forest Trail Reviews

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