Mica View Trail - Saguaro National Park
If you want to hike in Saguaro National Park but don't want to drive all the way into the Park, I have a not-so-secret secret to share with you: the Broadway Trailhead. Driving east down Broadway in Tucson the road dead ends at the base of the Rincon Mountains right next to the boundary of Saguaro National Park. There is a trailhead here where you can access several trails that go inside the Park, mainly the Mica View Trail.
The Mica View Trail is a semi-paved trail and it's one of my go-to's when I have friends or family in town visiting and we want to get the best "bang for our buck" in terms of time commitment, difficulty and classic desert landscape. In a short 0.5 mile walk you can see towering saguaros, ocotillo, prickly pear, barrel cacti, creosote, teddy bear cholla, palo verdes, brittlebush, and much more.
This could be considered more of a walk than a hike since the trail is flat and mostly paved so it's a good option for someone who is wanting an easy trail. I've taken family members with walkers and strollers on this trail so it's suitable for almost everyone.
As the trail name suggests, Mica Mountain is within view on this trail, peeking up over a ridge in the Rincon Mountains (see above photo). You'll probably see a lot of wildlife evidence like this cactus wren nest in the cholla (below photo). Several cactus skeletons can be found on either side of the trail, like the cholla cactus skeleton or the saguaro skeleton (below photo).
Another favorite part of this trail is the gorgeous view it offers of the Santa Catalina Mountains. We were lucky to have a recent snow fall when I hiked this and Mt Lemmon was still covered. I love a mountain covered in snow, especially in the desert! I need to come back in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom, I bet this trail will have lots of color come April or May.
Mica View Trail Trail - Broadway Trailhead, Saguaro National Park
Date hiked: January 8, 2022
Total miles: 1.5 miles out & back
Elevation gain: 50 feet
Total time: 1 hour
Land acknowledgement: Ancestral lands of the Tohono O'odham and Yaqui