Freeman Homestead Trail is an easy loop hike located in the east section of Saguaro National Park. This hike is relatively flat and kid-friendly. In fact, there are interpretive signs with activities specifically designed for kids. Our boys enjoyed doing simple activities like timing their hike, looking for specific types of saguaros, and learning about the animals in the area.
Freeman Homestead Trail has a small parking lot near the Mica View Picnic Area. This trail is not along the one-way section of the road, but we stopped at the end of our drive around the loop. Here is a map to the location. The trail starts out running slightly downhill as it drops toward the wash. The trail is confusing in a few places, but small arrow signs should keep you directed along the correct path.
The trail winds down through the towering saguaros, many of which have nesting holes in them. We looked hard for a pygmy elf owl, but they stayed firmly out of sight. We did see a few gila woodpeckers, which drill the holes into the saguaro for their nests.
After about a third of a mile, the trail arrives at the Freeman Homestead. There isn’t a lot to see, though. There is a wide flat place where the home once stood and a few cornerstones. All other traces of the Freeman family are gone.
The trail continues down to the bottom of the wash. There is a large rock wall that provides a little shade at the right time of day. The ranger mentioned that we should look for owls in this area, but we didn’t see any on the day we hiked.
Turn left and head up the wash, but watch for trail signs that stand only about 6 inches off the ground. The trail heads up out of the wash and eventually joins back with the trail you began hiking down on. The wash does lead back to the road, so you wouldn’t get lost if you stayed in it, but it’s hard to hike through the sand so it wouldn’t be a fun end to the hike.
We enjoyed the Freeman Homestead Trail in Saguaro as much as any in the park. Make sure to give it a try if you are in the east section of Saguaro National Park. Check out our list of Family-Friendly hikes in Saguaro for other hike ideas in this park.