ApproachSee "Getting There" section on main page.
Route DescriptionAt the trailhead a sign reads:
Saguaro NP: 1.5 mi
Rincon Peak Trail: 4.4 mi
Happy Valley Saddle Camp: 4.9 mi
Rincon Peak: 8.1 mi
From the trailhead, the route winds along the grassy banks of Miller Creek, and after 1.5 miles comes to the Saguaro NP entrance. Here you can sign the entrance register, and the real fun begins. The trail now steeply ascends the boulder-strewn east slope of the Rincon’s with good views of Happy Valley and beyond. At points the trail is distinguished only by cairns. After about an hour, the trail enters the shady Miller Creek drainage, and levels out slightly. The saddle is an easy 30 minutes more. At the saddle you will find a sign indicating that you have gone 4.4 mi. Continue straight past this sign in the direction of Happy Valley Campground and Rincon Peak Trail, on what is now called the Heartbreak Ridge Trail.
You can now see Rincon Peak looming 2300’ above, and will enjoy the flat, lazy walk through the shady ponderosa and juniper forest at Happy Valley saddle. After 0.5 mi you come to another sign indicating Rincon Peak is 3.2 mi distant (left). To get to the Happy Valley campground, turn right here and head down the Rincon Creek trail for a short distance. But on to Rincon Peak… head south from this trail junction and rejoin the climb.
The trail ascends as it heads south / south-east towards the ridge line. After crossing an exposed bedrock channel, the trail climbs through mostly open forest of ponderosa pine and douglas fir. The trail gets steeper as you approach the summit. A trail register just south of the summit indicates that you are nearly there. After passing the register, find your way through manzanitas and steep rocks by following the cairns to the final summit indicated by a huge cairn. A summit register in an ammo can implores you to ‘Sign or Die!’