Garwood Loop, Saguaro East - Rincon Mountain District: Douglas Spring Trailhead, Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Garwood Loop - 5.6 miles

Saguaro East - Rincon Mountain District: Douglas Spring Trailhead

Rich biodiversity along the Garwood Loop

Rich biodiversity along the Garwood Loop

Round-Trip Length: 5.6 miles
Start-End Elevation: 2,870' - 3,460' (3,460' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +590' net elevation gain (+789' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy-Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Garwood Loop - 5.6 Miles Round-Trip

The west side of the Rincon Mountain District is referred to as The Cactus Forest for its high saguaro concentration and rich biodiversity. A well-marked trail network enables hikers to create their own route through lush cactus gardens, washes and arroyos that cross this open landscape.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The Douglas Spring Trail, Garwood Trail and Carrillo Trail form a 5.6 mile loop highlighted by diverse flora, historical landmarks, good views and moderate terrain. The following descriptions begins on the Douglas Spring Trail and travels counter-clockwise:

The Douglas Spring Trail runs level through towering saguaro and several dozen species of cacti and cholla to the Garwood Trail (.2 mile).

The Garwood Trail turns south and rises nominally through and across several washes to the Wildhorse - Bajada Vista Trail junction (1.0 miles), a potentially confusing intersection. Remain on the Garwood Trail to the Carrillo Trail split (1.6 miles).

The Carrillo Trail curls back north and undulates ruggedly for short spurts along the edge of the foothills to the Steel Tank junction at Rock Spring (3.2 miles).

Locate the trail in the wash below and remain on the Carrillo Trail heading north. Enjoy good views from high points in the foothills across the Cactus Forest (west), Catalina Mountains (north) and Rincon Mountains (east).

The trail crests at 3,460' and winds downhill back to the Douglas Spring Trail (4.5 miles). The Douglas Spring Trail drops abruptly before leveling out through old-growth saguaro stands and cactus gardens back to the trailhead (5.6 miles).

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N32 14.120 W110 41.220 — 0.0 Miles: Douglas Spring Trailhead

Worth Noting

  • Be mindful of delicate vegetation and varied terrain; missteps and stumbles in the Cactus Forest can be harmful to both plant and human. Rattlesnakes inhabit this area. Remain on designated trails at all times, and never place your hands or feet where you can't see them.
  • While all trails and trail junctions are well marked, it's always possible to inadvertently wander off course, especially by mistaking a wash for the trail. Be cognizant of your surroundings at all times.
  • The Cactus Forest's trail network runs primarily through the Desert Scrub biotic community. Trails on the east edge of the Cactus Forest abut the foothills, and generally have more elevation change as a result.

Directions to Trailhead

The Douglas Spring Trailhead begins at the end of Speedway Blvd. Travel east from Tucson to the end of Speedway Blvd. Parking is limited. Park only in designated spots.

Contact Information

Saguaro National Park Headquarters and Rincon Mountain District
3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730-5601

Saguaro National Park - Tucson Mountain District
27 North Kinney Road
Tucson, AZ 85743

Trip Reports

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