Hiking Trails

Hikers should ensure that they wear comfortable clothing, durable shoes and have plenty of water when hiking, especially in summer months. Hats, sunscreen and regular consumption of water will help prevent exhaustion and heat-related injuries. Hikers should stay on developed trails to prevent erosion, damage to vegetation and personal injury. Please report any problems along the trail or trail damage to the staff at the front desk.

The Guindani Trail (#398)

Located on the east flank of the Whetstone Mountains in the Coronado National Forest, this trail is 4.2 miles in length ( the first mile is an easy walk, next 2/3 of the trail is a moderate difficulty, and the last leg is strenuous). This is a shared-use, non-motorized trail that is well-marked with directional signs.

Trail elevations range from 4750’ at the park trailhead to over 5620’ at the highest point along the Guindani Trail.  The summits along the crest of the Whetstone Mountains are over 7000’ in elevation. Vegetation is mesquite-invaded Chihuahuan semi-desert grassland at the lower elevations and open oak-juniper woodland on the higher slopes.

Access to the Guindani Trail is located on the west side of Kartchner Caverns State Park campgrounds; a kiosk marks the entrance to the trail. For more information, contact: Sierra Vista Ranger District, 5990 W. Hwy 92, Hereford, AZ 85615 or call (520) 378-0311.

The Foothills Loop Trail (loop)

This trail is approximately 2.5 miles, rated moderate to difficult. There are four access points; one at the northwest end of the Discovery Center parking lot near the group use ramada, one at the north end of the lower campground, one at the north end of the upper campground and one at the trailhead gate leading into the National Forest.

This is a hiking trail, with no bicycles or motorized vehicles permitted. The trail climbs the limestone hill north of the cave and descends into the wash that follows the fault between the Whetstone Block and the San Pedro Block. A short spur trail at the upper portion of the Foothills Loop Trail leads visitors to the scenic Mountain Viewpoint.

Informational signs along the Foothills Loop Trail will discuss such trail highlights as the foothills, scenic view, riparian area, bedrock mortar and the Native Americans that inhabited the area.

Some of the vegetation seen on the Foothills Loop Trail hike include: ocotillo, creosote bush, mesquite, desert broom, acacia, wait-a-minute bush, scrub oak, barrel cactus, prickly pear, buckhorn cholla, and hackberry.

The Hummingbird Garden Walk

is located on the southwest side of the Discovery Center. The walk is lined with a variety of local vegetation. Some of the varieties include: catclaw acacia, velvet honeysuckle, beargrass, yellow bells, black spine prickle pear, autumn sage, agave, desert bird of paradise, desert spoon, fairy duster, chaparosa, and hesperaloe.