Signal Hill Petroglyphs

Saguaro National Park

Tucson Area, Arizona

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Signal Hill Petroglyphs


  • The petroglyphs at Signal Hill are very well preserved and easy to reach.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • Saguaro National Park is a great place to get an introduction to the Sonoran Desert.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • Perched in the hills outside of Tucson, the park is very accessible.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • In addition to saguaro cactus, the fishhook barrel cactus is very common in the park.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • Prickly pear cactus and ocotillo are also distinctive plants of the Sonoran Desert.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • The petroglyphs are set in a spectacular natural setting.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • Some of the petroglyphs are geometric designs.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • This petroyglyph appears to depict an animal and a human hunter.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • It is estimated that these Hohokam petroglyphs are over 800 years old.- Signal Hill Petroglyphs
  • - Signal Hill Petroglyphs
Overview + Weather
Short or long hike. Very old artifacts. Beautiful views.
Tucson Area, AZ
Pets allowed: 
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Saguaro National Park is a treasure for the residents and visitors in Tucson. The park is divided into two districts that are east and west of Tuscson. Miles of hiking and biking trails provide recreational opportunities, and the visitor center has programs for many interests ranging from history to astronomy to birding. The Sonoran Desert environment is a great place to explore the plant and animal life of this region.

One of the easily accessible and interesting places in the park is the site of the Hohokam petroglyphs near the Signal Hill picnic area. The petroglyphs are only a few hundred yards up the trail from the parking lot; just head toward the dark and rocky hill to the north. The trail continues past the petroglyphs if a longer hike in the desert is desired.

The Hohokam people lived in the Sonoran Desert for hundreds of years. They had a fairly advanced civilization from about 750 A.D. to 1450 A.D. and built large structures and walled villages, traded with many other nations, and developed irrigated agriculture to grow corn, beans, and other crops. Around 1450 the people abandoned their permanent structures and assumed a nomadic, hunter-gatherer style of living. They are the ancestors of the Tohono O'odham people that live in the area today.

It is not known whether the purpose of the petroglyphs was ceremonial, artistic, or some combination of uses. The artifacts at this site are estimated to be about 800 years old. There are examples of both abstract geometric and spiral designs as well as depictions of animals and people. The petroglyphs are in very good condition and certainly evoke wonder and respect for their age and their significance to the original creators.


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(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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(9 within a 30 mile radius)

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