|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – September 2008
The name doesn't say it all: Arizona's premier cactus preserve conceals a cool mountain escape.
You've got a 12-mile hike back to the desert flats and your car. No worries, though, it's all downhill. Set out from Manning Camp along the Cow Head Saddle Trail, dropping nearly 2,000 feet to the Douglas Spring Trail. Turn right into the canyon you ascended just two days earlier, snap some panoramics of the craggy Santa Catalinas, and arrive at the trailhead in no time. Easy access goes both ways; stop by Tucson McGraw's Cantina (tucsonmcgraws.com) on Houghton Road, a park staff favorite, for margaritas and ribs. It's only 10 minutes away.