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.
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.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.