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The Valley View Overlook Trail is located in West Saguaro National Park and is a popular hiking option for those who are not looking for something ultra-strenuous. In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about this hike.
Valley View Overlook Trail Overview
The Valley View Overlook Trail is a .8 mile out and back trail that is perfect for someone looking for an easy stroll with very minimal elevation gain and close encounters with saguaro cactuses along with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and desert terrain.
- Distance: .8 mile
- Elevation Gain: 49 feet
- Route Type: Out and back
- Pets: No
Getting to the trail head
In order to get to the trail head, you will need to head down the scenic loop road (Hohokam Road) which is an unpaved but well-kept dirt road.
There are some great views along the way so be sure to take your time.
Look for the signs for the Overlook Trail and you will see a small parking area. Then you’ll be off to the trailhead.
This trail is very well marked and you should have no issues following along. Be sure to start off by reviewing the panel which breaks down all of the different types of plants that you might encounter on your hike.
The elevation gain on this hike is very minimal at only 49 feet and the steps that will take you down and up are well-maintained and not very steep.
This trail has the added bonus of also being an interpretive trail, so you will find many different interpretive panels that provide some insightful information about the different flora and fauna that you might encounter along the way. If you like interpretive trails, there is also a very short and easy one in the East District called the Desert Ecology Trail.
You will begin the hike heading down across the Bajada Wash. Notice how the steps below are not very steep at all.
(Be sure that you don’t head down the Wild Dog Trail which you will encounter after you cross the wash.)
After heading down, the trail will be pretty level until you get about .3 miles into the hike when it begins to ascend to the overlook. The grade is about 7 to 10% and it is not very challenging.
Along the way, you will have some very close encounters with many different saguaro cactuses which is one of the reasons why I like this hike so much.
You will also see an array of other cactuses including those like prickly pear, barrel cactus, hedgehog cactus, cholla, and many others. It truly is a little desert wonderland.
I would definitely classify this as an easy hike and say that it is a great option for people of virtually all fitness levels. This is also a kid friendly trail but keep in mind that no dogs are allowed on this trail.
Once you make it to the top of the overlook hill, you will find a few different benches to relax on and some wide open space to move about and check out the views which are great all around.
We visited during the middle of the day but I heard this is a fantastic sunset destination.
On the way to the top, we spotted some wildlife and wildflowers. We saw a couple of different little lizards darting through the brush and also saw a couple of bunnies hopping around as we made our way to the overlook.
As for wildflowers, we encountered brittlebush along with some blooming ocotillo and others.
Overall, this is a great short hike if you don’t have a lot of time or are not interested in doing something more time-consuming and strenuous.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.