Valley View Overlook Trail
The Valley View Overlook Trail is a quick and easy route in Saguaro National Park West lined with gorgeous tall cactus and rolling desert hills. This route is great for families with young kids or beginner hikers who want to get out and enjoy the outdoors on a simple, forgiving trail. Saguaro National Park West is known for its amazing saguaros and relaxed hiking trails, so this is a great way to introduce yourself to the park and enjoy its scenery.
While this is a short trail, you’ll still want to bring water for the hike. It can get very hot on this route, so sunscreen and a hat are also good ideas.
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Route Description for Valley View Overlook Trail
Saguaro National Park West is known for its dense saguaros and laid-back, low elevation hiking trails. It’s the perfect place near Tucson to stretch your legs when you’re after an easier adventure that still offers beautiful desert scenery. The Valley View Overlook Trail is a great introduction to the park or a repeat-worthy trip if you just want something fast and rewarding.
The route is 1.3 km total and very well-maintained. You’ll hike through two washes and then climb gently to a ridge. The turnaround point offers an awesome view of the Avra Valley and Picacho Peak. Along the way, take in the rolling hills and the densely limbed towering saguaros that surround you.
Even though this is a short hike, we still recommend bringing water and wearing sun protection. This is Tucson, after all. Note that dogs aren’t allowed in this park.
The trailhead is about 4.8 km north of the Red Hills Visitor Center. Take a right off N. Kinney Road and drive on Hohokam Road for about 2.3 km, then look for the parking area on your left.
From the trailhead, take the trail to the first junction. Continue straight on through this junction. At the next junction with Wild Dog Trail, stay left onto Valley View Trail.
Wander through the desert on this scenic route, enjoying the saguaros, cholla, ocotillo, and prickly pear. We especially like this route when the ocotillo is in bloom, which tends to be from March until June, but they’ll also sometimes bloom sporadically through the summer in response to heavy rain.
The path is wide and easy to follow the entire way. Climb gently to the ridge. When you get to the top of the ridge, you’ll look out over a valley that seems impossibly filled with saguaros. You can see the mountains in the distance and the clouds casting shadows over the earth as they move.
After enjoying the view, turn around and return to the trailhead on the same route.
Hiking Route Highlights
Saguaro National Park West
The two sides of Saguaro National Forest–East and West–encompass two patches of beautiful desert scenery on the eastern and western sides of the city of Tucson. The parks may be small, but they don’t lack when it comes to scenery. Saguaro National Park West is lower in elevation with a denser saguaro forest, and Saguaro National Park East is more mountainous and offers the opportunity to backpack if desired. Valley View Overlook shows off the west park in its cactus-covered glory.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Saguaro National Park should I visit?
Both the east and west park are worth visiting, but plan your visit based on the kind of exploring you want to do. The east park is better for hikes with more elevation gain and it allows backpacking. The west park is more saguaro-filled, lower elevation, and does not allow overnight stays.
Are dogs allowed on Valley View Overlook Trail?
No, dogs are not allowed on this trail.
Do I have to pay to hike Valley View Overlook Trail?
No, there is no fee required for this hike.
Insider Hints for Valley View Overlook Trail
- Keep your eyes peeled for lizards, snakes, and other wildlife on this hike.
Getting to the Valley View Overlook Trail Trailhead
The trailhead for the Valley View Overlook Trail is on Hohokam Road.
Valley View Overlook Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Valley View Overlook Trail Reviews
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