Valley View Overlook Trail in the west section was our favorite hike in Saguaro National Park. It was short, flat and easy. It was also a destination hike, which is rare in this national park. For more information on hiking in Saguaro, check out our post for kid-friendly hikes.
Valley View Overlook overlaps a few other trails. Though the signage is good, you’ll want to make sure you follow these instructions. Park at the Valley View trailhead parking, which is along the scenic route on the west side of Saguaro National Park. Start at the trail sign and follow the signs. Make sure to cross the wash and continue forward to the overlook. The other trails take off into the wash.
Most trails in Saguaro National Park weave among the colossal cactuses (or cacti, if you like) looping around to where you started. This trail is similar, though it is an out-and-back trail. The distance is only 0.6 miles roundtrip. As you hike, the feeling is one of reverence and respect for these giants, which live to be up to 200 years old. The great thing about this hike, though, is that it ends up at a broad overlook of an entire valley of Saguaros. There are a few nice benches to sit on, and a gorgeous panorama of the Sonora Desert that will take your breath away.
This hike was rather busy, but it is neither steep nor rocky. Because the hike is so well-traveled, you don’t have to worry too much about creepy-crawlies. We did not see any wildlife along this trail. There are signs along the way pointing out different types of flora, including several types of cactuses. The highlight is definitely the final overlook. We were truly amazed at how many Saguaro Cacti stretched all over this area.
If you are visiting Saguaro National Park, this is the must-do hike in the west section. Best of all, it is easy enough for toddlers and small children. Definitely add Valley View Overlook in Saguaro to your list of hikes.