Saguaro NP--West--Hugh Norris Trail

Saguaro NP--West--Hugh Norris Trail

Tucson Mountain District (West) 2700 North Kinney Road Tucson, Arizona 85743

Saguaro National Park website
Saguaro National Park maps
Saguaro National Park - West Hiking Guide

About this Location

4.9 miles, one way. The Hugh Norris Trail is the longest trail in the Tucson Mountain District.

About Saguaro NP West - Tucson Mountain District

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Saguaro National Park is composed of two distinct districts: The Rincon Mountain District and the Tucson Mountain District. The Tucson Mountain District lies on the west side of Tucson, Arizona, while the Rincon Mountain District lies on the east side of Tucson. Both districts were formed to protect and exhibit forests of their namesake plant: the Saguaro Cactus.

Most people think of Saguaro National Park as being a desert park. True, the lower elevations of the park encompass Sonoran Desert Vegetation, but there is much more to Saguaro National Park than just cacti.

The Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park ranges from an elevation of 2,180 ft to 4,687 ft and contains 2 biotic communities, desert scrub, and desert grassland. The average annual precipitation is approximately 10.27 in. Common wildlife includes the coyote, Gambel’s quail, and desert tortoise.

The Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park ranges from an elevation of 2,670 ft to 8,666 ft and contains 6 biotic communities. The biotic communities (starting from the lowest elevation) include desert scrub, desert grassland, oak woodland, pine-oak woodland, pine forest, and mixed conifer forest. The average annual precipitation is approximately 12.30 in. The Rincon Mountains peak at a considerably higher elevation than the Tucson Mountains, therefore there are more biotic communities and increased plant and wildlife diversity. Because of the higher elevation in the Rincons, animals like the black bear, Mexican spotted owl, Arizona mountain king snake, and white-tailed deer live in this district.

Notable Trails

The Hugh Norris Trail begins off the Bajada Loop Drive, 2.5 miles north of the Red Hills Visitor Center. The trail was named after a former Chief of the Tohono O’odham Indian Police. The trail begins with a series of switchbacks that climb to a ridge overlooking the cactus forest. From there, the trail follows the ridge-top through areas with splendid views and unique rock formations until it reaches Amole Peak, approximately 4.1 miles from the trailhead. The next 0.8 miles go up a final series of switchbacks and a gradual climb that leads to the top of Wasson Peak. Livestock is prohibited on this trail.

Content from Tucson Mountain District Trails brochure with map and Saguaro National Park webpage

Saguaro National Park - West Trail Map