4 Miles

188 feet


A+++ Views

Saguaro Nest Trail Hike Overview

There is so much to look at on the Saguaro Nest Trail hike! Mountains galore. Make this hike as short or as long as you want. There is minimal elevation, making it a great hot weather hike. This prime Sonoran desert hiking. It’s beautiful, relaxing, and will make you feel great afterwards.

Map & Elevation Profile

Total distance: 3.99 mi
Max elevation: 2648 ft
Min elevation: 2460 ft
Total time: 01:23:49

Map for the Saguaro Nest Trail Hike

Get this map! It’s a good idea to have this guy with you in case you want to go further, explore a new trail or get turned around!

mcdowell mountains green trails map get outdoors get happy

McDowell Mountains Greentrails map

You definitely won’t regret having this map for your McDowell Sonoran Preserve hikes!


We parked on N 128th street along the road and later learned we weren’t supposed to park there. Whoops! According to the map, you should park at Tom’s Thumb trailhead or the Fraesfield trailhead.

Saguaro Nest Trail Hike Trail Notes

This area is so peaceful! It is quiet and beautiful. If you are looking for a nice chill hike to recharge, give this area a try. We only saw one mountain biker and one unicyclist mountain biker (it was crazy and awesome!).

Expect 360-degree mountain views and no powerlines (unlike at Brown’s Mountain). If you love the unobstructed mountain views like me, you will love this hike!

There are lots of little ups and downs without it being too difficult. It’s a great hot weather option (it’s 3 degrees cooler than down in the low valley!) when you need to get some outdoor time in. This area has all the classic desert plants as well. Check out the photos below of a crested saguaro and a weird barrel cactus. You’ll likely see wildlife as well! We saw roadrunners, bunnies, and deer.

When you cross over into the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, you’ll find Jackass Junction (see featured image at the top). It’s a great little stop with supplies to fix a flat or grab a snack. It’s an awesome reminder that people and being outside is good!

So, is the Saguaro Nest Trail hike worth it?

It would probably make sense to spend days and days walking around here. You will definitely get that ‘ahhh, that was so nice’ feel afterwards. You’ll feel happy that you went out there!

Other hikes close by

Check out the Whiskey Bottle Trail hike at the Fraesfield trailhead or hike around Brown’s Mountain (it’s one of the most scenic mountains in this area, IMO!).

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