Hike-in Required
Open Year-round
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Desert Discovery Trail is a short hiking trail in the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park, which is located west of Tucson, Arizona. The trailhead is one mile northwest of the Red Hills Visitors Center on North Kinney Road. Look for the Nature Trail sign, parking is on the southwest side of the road. The trail is a 0.4-mile paved loop that offers visitors the opportunity to explore the unique desert environment of the park and learn about the plants and animals that inhabit the area.

Along the trail, visitors will see a variety of desert plants, including the iconic saguaro cactus, as well as other species such as the barrel cactus, cholla, and ocotillo. The desert here is also home to a variety of wildlife, such as lizards, birds, and rabbits.

The Desert Discovery Trail is a flat, paved trail that is wheelchair accessible. People of nearly all abilities can enjoy this trail. Along the way there are informational signs that provide information about the surrounding environment and the history of the area.

Desert Discovery Trail is the only trail in the Tucson Mountains District of the park that allows dogs. Dogs must be on a leash. The Desert Discovery Trail is located within Saguaro National Park so a fee is required.

The Desert Discovery Trail offers visitors a great way to see the beauty and diversity of Saguaro National Park, and to learn about the unique ecology of the Sonoran Desert.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


View and learn about the Sonoran Desert.


Can be hot in the summer.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


ADA accessible
Geologically significant
Family friendly


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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