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Rincon Mountain Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Rincon Mountain Wilderness (map) in 1984 and it now has a total of 36,949 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Arizona and is managed by the Forest Service. The Rincon Mountain Wilderness is bordered by the Saguaro Wilderness to the west.


Wrapping around three sides of Saguaro National Park just east of Tucson, this sharply rising, mountainous Wilderness serves to further protect and preserve the Park's odd and sometimes all-too-human-shaped cacti, the monarchs of the Sonoran Desert. Elevations range from 3,600 feet to 7,700 feet. The lower elevations are rolling and rocky with desert grasses, while the upper elevations are dramatic rock outcroppings and steep pinion, juniper, and oak covered hillsides rising above deep canyons. Several trails provide access to the Wilderness's solitude-rich canyon bottoms and the high ridgelines of the Rincons, but reaching the trailheads themselves can be difficult, except via a well-developed trail system that originates in Saguaro National Park. Vehicles can access the eastern boundary on Forest Service Road 35 in Happy Valley. Off the trails, especially at higher elevations, the terrain makes foot travel difficult and horse travel virtually impossible.

Planning to Visit the Rincon Mountain Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Rincon Mountain Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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