A scenic, varied, and uncrowded loop beginning in the Cactus Forest and climbing to higher views near the foot of the mountains.

Statistics

1 - 2

hrs

65

m

65

m

2

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Moderate

Description

Starting from a small parking lot along Cactus Forest Drive, Loma Verde Trail heads into a rather lush woodland of mesquite and cacti along a seasonal stream.

The trail crosses this wash twice, then climbs past a small bluff to reach the top of a hill.

From there, it proceeds on a long, gradual downhill through the cactus forest.

Look for traces of the Loma Verde Mine, in the form of red and greenish waste piles, where copper was once extracted. Eventually comes the junction with Pink Hill Trail, which makes a short climb to another hilltop, with nice views over much of the forest and the Tucson suburbs beyond.

From there, a few modest ups and steeper downs lead into a broad wash that is usually dry, and after crossing it, the trail gradually ascends to meet Squeeze Pen Trail.

That trail traverses near the foot of Tanque Verde Ridge, over rockier terrain with elevated views.

Try to notice how increasing elevation changes the species of cacti along the trail.

Near the end of Squeeze Pen, an abrupt downhill through denser vegetation leads back to Loma Verde Trail and the first wash crossing, thus completing the loop. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/sagu/planyourvisit/saguaro_hiking.htm https://www.americansouthwest.net/arizona/saguaro/loma-verde-squeeze-pen-trails.html