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Mica View Loop is among the best casual family hikes in Saguaro East.
The trailhead is at the Mica View picnic area, reached by a 0.6-mile dirt road, suitable for passenger cars, that departs from the Cactus Forest Loop Drive.
You can alternatively hike this loop without driving into the park and paying the entry fee, however, by starting from the other trailhead on Broadway Blvd.
The loop connects these two trailheads by using Mica View Trail and Cactus Forest Trail. Along the loop, you’ll see the great diversity of cacti that this area of the park is famous for, including giant saguaros (of course) but also barrel cactus, prickly pear, and multiple varieties of cholla.
In addition to the cacti are other Sonoran plants like ocotillo, yucca, palo verde, and mesquite.
The vegetation is abundant but well-spaced, and the trail is wide, ensuring you can admire the prickly plants at a comfortable distance.
The terrain is mostly flat, on a sandy trail that only briefly dips in and out of shallow washes. Because of its modest length and because of its easy access from both Cactus Forest Drive and from nearby neighborhoods, this trail is very popular with visitors and locals at all times of year.
Early morning is, of course, the preferred time during hot seasons, but late afternoon can have tolerable temperatures as well.
Desert wildflowers can usually be seen year-round, but the time with the most flowers is mid-March through early May.
The charismatic saguaro flowers come later, however, usually mid-May through early June.
No matter the time of year, be sure to bring ample water and snacks to stay fueled in the arid environment.
Drinking water is available at the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center, but not anywhere along this loop. Sources: https://www.americansouthwest.net/arizona/saguaro/mica-view-trail.html https://americantraveljournal.blogspot.com/2015/06/mica-view-loop-trail-saguaro-national.html