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Saguaro Wilderness

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Area Management

The Saguaro Wilderness is part of the 110 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System. This System of lands provides clean air, water, and habitat critical for rare and endangered plants and animals. In wilderness, you can enjoy challenging recreational activities like hiking, backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, horse packing, bird watching, stargazing, and extraordinary opportunities for solitude. You play an important role in helping to "secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness" as called for by the Congress of the United States through the Wilderness Act of 1964. Please follow the requirements outlined below and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting the Saguaro Wilderness to ensure protection of this unique area.


See the Saguaro Wilderness brochure for a primer on wilderness travel, camping, regulations and more, and for the required permit.

-- Unless otherwise specified, no motorized equipment or mechanical transport, with the exception of wheelchairs, is allowed.

-- Maximum group size is 18 persons.

-- Persons under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

-- Off trail travel is only permissable above 4,500 feet in elevation.

-- Campfires are prohibited at the Douglas Spring and Grass Shack Campgrounds. Gas stoves are encouraged at all campgrounds.

-- Where campfires are allowed, make sure your fire is completely extinguished before departing.

-- Only dead and downed wood may be collected and burned.

-- Pets are prohibited on all trails.

-- Outhouses are provided at all six designated campgrounds. Elsewhere, bury human waste at least 150 feet from trails, meadows and water sources.

-- Do not put trash in the outhouses.

-- The use of firerearms and other weapons is prohibited.

-- Pack out everything you pack in.


-- Camping is allowed in designated campgrounds only. Do not deviate from your itinerary.

-- Camping permits must be visible while hiking in/out of the wilderness area. At all other times, leave permit on your tent.

-- Permits may be issued up to two months in advance, but no later than noon the day of departure. Camping permit applications received by mail or fax must be fully complete in order for a camping permit to be returned by mail.

-- Digging trenches around tents or modifying camp areas is prohibited.

-- The total length of stay may not exceed 10 days, with no more than 5 consecutive days at any one campground.


-- Livestock is defined as mules, donkeys and horses only. All other animals, including pets, are prohibited.

-- Livestock are prohibited on the Tanque Verde Ridge and Miller Creek Trails and the last half mile of the Rincon Peak Trail.

-- The maximum number of livestock allowed overnight at the Douglas Spring, Grass Shack, Spud Rock Spring and Happy Valley Saddle Campgrounds is 5 head.

-- Free-trailing, loose herding or tying livestock to trees is prohibited.

-- Grazing livestock is prohibited. You must provide your own feed. Weed-free pellets are recommended.

-- Livestock droppings must be removed and scattered away from campground.

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