You are on page 1of 8

Saguaro U.S.

Department of the Interior

National Park Service
The Saguaro Wilderness Area
Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro Wilderness Area was Plant communities within the Saguaro
officially designated as wilderness in Wilderness Area vary from hot and
1976. This large, roadless backcountry dry desert scrub to cool and moist
The Saguaro Wilderness Area consists of 57,930 acres within the pine forest. Six different biotic com -
Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro munities are represented here in-
National Park. It is bounded on three cluding: desert scrub, desert grass-
sides by the 38,590 acre Rincon land, oak woodland, pine-oak wood-
Mountain Wilderness Area, which lies land, pine forest and mixed conifer
within the Coronado National Forest. forest. This biologically diverse area
Although these wilderness areas are supports a tremendous variety of
adjacent to one another, management plant and animal species. Please help
philosophies differ. This brochure was us protect this wild and wonderful
developed to provide users with the place; leave all natural and cultural
guidelines and regulations that govern objects as you find them.
the Saguaro Wilderness Area within
Saguaro National Park. Elevation

For information regarding the Rincon Mixed Conifer Forest 9,000 feet
Mountain Wilderness Area, located
within the Coronado National Forest,
Pine Forest 8,000 feet
call (520) 670-4552.

Pine-oak Woodland
7,000 feet

Oak Woodland
6,000 feet

Desert Grassland
5,000 feet

Desert Scrub
4,000 feet

Manning Cabin 3,000 feet

Camping Water Leave No Trace Topographic Maps

Camping is allowed at 6 designated Without question, water will be your The ethics and techniques of Leave All persons using the Saguaro Wilder-
campgrounds within the Saguaro most important concern while visiting No Trace camping were developed ness Area should have the necessary
Wilderness Area. These campgrounds the Saguaro Wilderness Area. Surface by the National Outdoor Leadership orienteering and map reading skills to
are located throughout the wilderness water is generally scarce during most School to assist outdoor users in safely get around.
area and a permit is required for all of the year. At times, it is non-existent. minimizing their impacts on wild
overnight stays. The fee for this permit Start your trip with plenty of potable places. When camping in the Saguaro We suggest that you carry National
is $6.00 per campsite, per night. Re- water, know where water sources are Wilderness Area, we ask that you Geographics Trails Illustrated Map,
funds for cancelled camping permits located and plan your trip according adopt these ethics and techniques to which covers the entire park in one
are not given for any reason. How- to water availability. help us protect and preserve this waterproof, tear- resistant map. This
ever, you may reschedule your trip Sonoran Desert treasure. map is available at the visitor center.
within two months. Golden Age and For current water reports, inquire at
Golden Access Pass holders receive a the visitor center - (520) 733-5153. It is Principles of Leave No Trace Also available are three U.S.G.S. topo-
50% discount on camping fees. Please recommended that you treat/filter all graphic maps, which encompass the
include your pass number on the water used for human consumption. Plan ahead and prepare. majority of Saguaro National Park.
permit application when mailing or Camp and travel on durable surfaces. They are: Tanque Verde Peak, Mica
Pack it in, pack it out.
faxing in requests. The maximum All campgrounds within the Saguaro Properly dispose of what you cant pack out.
Mountain and Rincon Peak, Ariz.
number of people allowed per camp- Wilderness Area are situated next to Leave what you find. These maps are available at the visitor
site is 6. The maximum size of any one intermittent streams or springs. Dur- Minimize use and impact of fires. center.
group is 18 persons. ing dry seasons, water may not be Protect and conserve water resources.
available. To aid in planning your wilderness
Douglas Spring, Grass Shack, Juniper For additional information, a series of experience, these maps may be pur-
Basin, Happy Valley Saddle and Spud The water source at Manning Camp is booklets are available from NOLS. chased by mail or phone prior to your
Rock Spring Campgrounds each have a spring surrounded by chain link Saguaro National Park recommends arrival. Contact the Western National
a total of 3 campsites. Manning Camp fencing. Please do not enter the Desert & Canyon Country & Parks Association bookstore at the
Campground has 6 campsites. fenced area. Water may be obtained a Backcountry Horse Use. address/phone below.
short distance down stream.
Campground Elevation For more information, contact: WNPA Bookstore
Manning Camp 8,000 feet If your itinerary calls for you to exit on 3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Spud Rock Spring 7,400 feet the same trail you entered on, you National Outdoor Leadership School Tucson, Arizona 85730
Happy Valley Saddle 6,200 feet might consider caching potable water 284 Lincoln Street (520) 733-5155
Juniper Basin 6,000 feet along the trail. This will assure you a Lander, Wyoming 82520-2448
Grass Shack 5,300 feet source of drinking water on your way 1-307-332-5300
Douglas Spring 4,800 feet out. We recommend sealed water 1-800-710-6657
containers with your name and the email:
date written on them. Website: 2

Five trailheads lead into the Saguaro Easy Access Moderate Access Difficult Access
Wilderness Area. To help you plan
your trip, we have separated these The trailheads that offer the easiest, The Miller Creek and Turkey Creek The Italian Spring Trailhead is the
trailheads by the level of difficulty it paved road access are as follows. Trailheads are generally accessible by most difficult trailhead to access. To
takes to reach a particular trailhead. light truck or car. However, during or reach this trailhead, drive east on
The Tanque Verde Ridge Trailhead is after heavy rainfall, access to these Tanque Verde Road. At the intersec-
Access to the Saguaro Wilderness located off the parks scenic loop drive, trailheads can be restricted or im- tion with Wentworth Road, Tanque
Area is not available from the south within the Javelina Picnic Area. Vehicle passable. To reach either of these Verde Road will change names to
boundary of the park, which includes access to the Tanque Verde Ridge trailheads, get off Interstate 10 at exit Redington Road. At the boundary of
the Camino Loma Alta Trailhead and Trailhead is available from 7:00 a.m. to #297 and head north. The road is the Coronado National Forest, the
Madrona. There is no public access to sunset daily. The scenic loop drive is paved for the first two miles and surface of Redington Road will change
Madrona, which is permanently closed and locked nightly. graded gravel for the remainder of its from pavement to gravel. While the
closed and is not staffed at any time. length. When you enter the Coronado gravel portion of Redington Road
The Douglas Spring Trailhead is located National Forest, the road is named does not require 4-wheel-drive, high
Access to the Saguaro Wilderness at the east end of Speedway Boulevard USFS Route #35. The turnoff to the clearance is recommended as it is not
Area via the Miller Creek, Turkey and is accessible 24 hours per day. Due Miller Creek Trailhead is 16 miles regularly maintained and is usually in
Creek and Italian Spring Trailheads is to this easy access, vehicle break-ins north of I-10. poor condition.
through United States Forest Service have occurred at this trailhead. Do not
(USFS) lands. For information about leave valuables inside your vehicle - The Turkey Creek Trailhead turnoff is From the beginning of the gravel,
the Coronado National Forest, call visible or otherwise. Many wilderness one-half mile beyond the Miller travel 9.6 miles to USFS Route #37 and
(520) 670-4552. users choose to have a friend drop them Creek turnoff. Look for USFS Route turn right. Vehicles with 4- wheel -
off and pick them up rather than leaving #4408 and turn left. Vehicles without drive and high clearance may drive an
a vehicle at this trailhead. high clearance and 4-wheel-drive will additional 2.6 miles to the Italian
Trailhead Elevation not be able to negotiate the last 1.6 Spring Trailhead. This trailhead is
Douglas Spring 2,750 feet miles of road leading to the Turkey located on USFS lands; you must hike
Tanque Verde Ridge 3,100 feet Creek Trailhead. an additional 5.1 miles to reach the
Miller Creek 4,200 feet boundary of Saguaro National Park.
Turkey Creek 4,250 feet Both the Miller Creek and Turkey
Italian Spring 4,800 feet Creek Trailheads are located on USFS
lands; you must hike an additional 1.5
miles on either trail to reach the
boundary of Saguaro National Park.

Wilderness Regulations Livestock Regulations Know Before You Go Weather

Off trail travel is only permissable above At Saguaro National Park, livestock Carry at least one gallon of water The temperatures below are monthly
4,500 feet in elevation. is defined as mules, donkeys and per person, per day. Additional averages for Manning Camp, which is
Campfires are prohibited at the Douglas
Spring and Grass Shack Campgrounds. Gas
horses only. All other animals, water is recommended during the located at an elevation of 8,000 feet,
stoves are encouraged at all campgrounds. including pets and other livestock, summer as temperatures can be and the visitor center, which is located
Where campfires are allowed, make sure are prohibited. extremely high, especially in the at an elevation of 3,080 feet.
your fire is completely extinguished before Livestock are prohibited on the lower elevations of the park.
departing. Tanque Verde Ridge and Miller Treat all water collected for human Manning Visitor
Only dead and downed wood may be
collected and burned.
Creek Trails and the last half mile of consumption. Water is generally Camp Center
Mechanized or motorized vehicles are the Rincon Peak Trail. scarce throughout the year. High Low High Low
prohibited in the wilderness area. The maximum number of livestock Be careful with campfires. Check January 44 25 63 38
Pets are prohibited on all trails within allowed overnight at the Douglas with the visitor center regarding February 46 24 66 40
Saguaro National Park. Spring, Grass Shack, Spud Rock fire restrictions prior to your trip. March 48 25 72 44
Outhouses are provided at all six designated
campgrounds. Elsewhere, bury human waste
Spring and Happy Valley Saddle Be cautious around all wildlife. April 52 27 80 50
at least 150 feet from trails, meadows and Campgrounds is 5 head. Know what to do if you encounter May 65 38 89 57
water sources. Free-trailing, loose herding or tying Africanized bees, black bears and June 77 48 98 67
Do not put trash in the outhouses. livestock to trees is prohibited. mountain lions. July 76 53 98 73
Firearms and other weapons are prohibited Grazing livestock is prohibited Do not leave valuables in vehicles. August 76 53 96 72
throughout Saguaro National Park.
Digging trenches around tents or
within the park. You must provide Pace yourself according to your September 73 48 93 67
modifying camp areas is prohibited. your own feed. Weed- free pellets own physical condition. October 65 42 84 57
Camping is allowed in designated are recommended. Wear appropriate clothing and November 53 32 72 45
campgrounds only. Do not deviate Livestock droppings must be re- footwear. December 48 29 65 39
from your itinerary. moved and scattered away from Respect the weather in all seasons.
Pack out everything you pack in.
Camping permits must be visible while
campgrounds. Do not cross flooded streams. Wait Winter Rainy Season:
hiking in/out of the wilderness area. At until the flow subsides. The typical winter rainy season occurs
all other times, leave permit on your tent. Use biodegradable soap and wash from December through February.
Persons under 16 years of age must be away from water sources. Rainfall is generally light and gentle,
accompanied by an adult. Cellular phones work in many but may fall for extended periods.
Permits may be issued up to two months in
advance, but no later than 12:00 noon the day
parts of the Saguaro Wilderness Expect snow at higher elevations.
of departure. Area, but not in all. High points
The total length of stay may not exceed 10 with a view of Tucson work best. Summer Rainy Season:
days, with no more than 5 consecutive days The typical summer rainy season
at any one campground. occurs from July through September.
Maximum group size is 18 persons.
Camping permit applications received by
Rainfall can be intense and heavy.
mail or fax must be fully complete to have Lightning and flash flooding are
the camping permit mailed back to you. common - extra caution is advised. 4
Bear-Proof Containers Black Bears Africanized Honey Bees Mountain Lions

The Rincon Mountains are home to a If approached by a black bear: If attacked by bees: If approached by a mountain lion:
small population of black bears. To
prevent these bears from associating Make Yourself Look Large Get Away Quickly Make Yourself Look Large
food with humans, bear- proof storage Raise your shirt or jacket above your Run from attacking bees and seek Raise your shirt or jacket above your
containers are provided at all six head to give the impression of size. shelter in an enclosed space such as a head to give the impression of size.
designated campgrounds. vehicle or building. If cover is not
Scream Loudly available, continue running until the Scream Loudly
Store all scented items, including food, Make sure the bear knows you are a bees stop chasing you. In some cases Make sure the mountain lion knows
garbage or toiletries, inside these human. Scream loudly. this distance may be as much as one- you are a human. Scream loudly.
bear-proof containers. Improperly half mile.
stored items may lead to property Fight Back Back Away Slowly
damage and/or possible human injury. If a bear attacks, fight back vigorously. Cover Your Head Do not turn your back on the animal.
Do not leave food or trash inside the Africanized honey bees target the Back away slowly, and do not run. If
bear-proof container when departing. eyes, ears, nose and mouth when you turn and run, instinct may trigger
attacking. Use your shirt or jacket to the animal to chase after you and
Keep clothes, sleeping bags and tents Report Wildlife Encounters cover your head while running away. attack.
as odor free as possible, do not cook Keep the hole you are looking out of as
or take food inside your tent. Clean up If you encounter a bear, mountain lion small as possible, without impairing
thoroughly after each meal and never or Africanized honey bees, we ask that your vision.
burn food scraps in your campfire. you report the incident to park staff as
soon as possible. Do Not Kill Attacking Bees
For your safety, and that of other If you kill an attacking bee, it will
wilderness users, do not feed, touch release an alarm scent that will attract
or approach any bear. other bees from the colony.

Do Not Flail Your Arms

Flailing your arms or swatting at bees
will only make the attack worse.

Seek Medical Attention

If you are attacked by Africanized
honey bees, call 911 and seek medical
attention immediately.

Livestock at Manning Camp Manning Camp Campground

Manning Camp, located in the heart of All livestock at Manning Camp must
the Saguaro Wilderness Area, is the be kept in the corrals. There are two

primary staging area for a variety of small corrals and one large corral. rai


To Douglas Spring Sa ntai
dd u
wilderness management functions. When government-owned livestock Campground le
Trai ca
l Mi To Mica
During the summer, both fire and trail are at Manning Camp, privately- Mountain

crews use Manning Camp as their base owned livestock are not permitted.
of operation. Throughout the year, a The maximum number of livestock Trail Register

variety of researchers also stay at allowed overnight at Manning

Manning Camp while studying the Camp is 10 head.
plants and animals of the park. Water for livestock is available at the
troughs in the corrals during the
The supplies needed to support these summer months only. Pond

operations are carried into the Saguaro When water is not available in the Manning Cabin
Wilderness Area by pack mules. Due troughs, livestock must be watered

Composting Outhouses
to the number of livestock at Manning at the creek below the corrals. No trash in toilet.

Toilet paper is not provided
Camp, additional rules apply. Livestock and people are not Corrals

allowed within the fenced water

storage pond above the dam.
Livestock are not allowed in camp- Access to
sites at any time.
Hitching rails are provided for
loading/unloading only. Livestock 1

must be loaded/unloaded at the Bear

hitching rail and supplies carried Bear
to/from your campsite. 5

Do not put saddles on hitching
rails or tie livestock to corral fences.
Picketing or hobbling of livestock is
not allowed at Manning Camp.
Map Legend
Grazing livestock is prohibited 4
within the park. You must provide Bear
your own feed. Weed- free pellets To Madrona

are recommended. 10

Camping Permit Information Camping Permit Application Trip Itinerary Camping Permit Fees
(please print neatly)
A camping permit is required for each Campground Date NOTE: Camping permit fees are non-
group or individual staying overnight Name ____________________________ __________________________________ refundable. Golden Age and Golden
in the Saguaro Wilderness Area. __________________________________ Access Pass holders receive a 50%
Address __________________________ __________________________________ discount. Pass # _________________
By signing the permit, you agree to __________________________________
abide by the regulations as set forth on City _____________________________ __________________________________ _____ # of nights
page 6 of this brochure. If using live- __________________________________ X
stock at Manning Camp, additional State ________ Zip _________________ _____ # of campsites
regulations apply, please refer to page Being dropped off / picked up. group size of 1-6 = 1 campsite
9 for this information. Contact Phone ____________________ group size of 7-12 = 2 campsites
Leaving vehicle(s) at trailhead. group size of 13-18 = 3 campsites
Permits may be issued up to two Emergency Phone _________________ X
months in advance, but no later than Trailhead _________________________ $6.00
noon on the day of departure. All Entry Trailhead ___________________ Make/Model ______________________ =
applications by mail or fax must be Year/Color _______________________ $ __________ Amount Owed
complete to process. Questions? Call Entry Date ________________________ License Plate/State _________________
the visitor center at (520) 733-5153. Method of Payment
Exit Trailhead _____________________ Please mail the permit to me.
Permits may be obtained: (all information must be provided to mail) _____ Personal or Cashiers Check
Exit Date _________________________ I will pick my permit up in (Payable to the National Park Service)
1. In person. Stop by the visitor person by noon the day of _____ Credit Card
center, located at 3693 South Old Method of Travel: departure.
Spanish Trail, Tucson AZ. Hours Visa Mastercard
are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. I have read and understand the rules Discover American Express
_____ total # of people and regulations for using the Saguaro
Name on credit card (please print):
2. By mail. Complete this camping Wilderness Area and will ensure they
Livestock ___________________________________
permit application and mail to the are followed by everyone in my group.
_____ total # of livestock
address on the lower-rear portion Credit Card #:
of the application. Payment must __________________________________ ___________________________________
Names and emergency phone
be included with application. Allow Signature Date
numbers of other people in group:
3 -4 weeks for mail in applications. Expiration Date: ______/______
Mail To: Wilderness Permits
3. By fax. Fax completed applications Saguaro National Park Authorized Signature:
to (520) 733-5195. Payment must 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail
_________________________________ __________________________________________
be included -credit card only. Tucson, AZ 85730 7
Manning Camp is
only staffed during
the summer.

Happy Valley