Cactus Forest Drive, a scenic road in Saguaro NP

Cactus Forest Scenic Loop Drive is a one way paved loop road located in Pima County, Arizona, in the southwestern United States.

Cactus Forest Drive

How long is the Cactus Forest Drive?

The winding loop road begins at the Visitor’s center. It’s 8 miles (12.9 km) long and closes at sunset daily. This route has a few sharp turns and a long climb that goes on for more than a mile. Located within the Saguaro National Park East, in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, the loop is one way and the terrain is perfect for riding. It has rollers, a steady climb, fast descents and lots of curves.

Is the Cactus Forest Drive paved?

The road is totally paved and steep, topping out at an elevation of 983 meters (3,227ft). Drive at moderate speed. You’re not on a race. Trailers longer than 35 feet or any vehicle wider than 8 feet are not permitted on the winding road.

Is the Cactus Forest Drive scenic?

The road encompasses miles of stunning views through twisty hair pin corners, high elevations and steep grades. It offers a leisurely look at a wide variety of Sonoran Desert life. It's a great introduction to the desert environment. This short loop provides drivers with a variety of wild plant life and giant Saguaro Cacti, giving it the title of one of the prettiest routes in the Tucson area. There is animal life but it is usually active at night when the park is closed. Back-road travel can be hazardous, so be aware of weather and road conditions. Carry plenty of water. Don’t travel alone, and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.