The Signal Hill Trail is a great short hike to petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park’s west side. I’ve done this one twice and it’s actually I think my favorite view in the park.
It’s just a dirt path taking you down to and across a wash before heading up to the top of the hill. Once you cross the wash, there are a bunch of boulders on top of the hill on your left.
That’s where you’re going but it’s not that bad. You can actually see some of the petroglyphs from the trail down here!
There are also two saguaros in that wash that look like they’re fighting (on the left side if you turn to the right on your way in). One has two long arms and one has three regular ones, which would win in the fight?
I think three arms would win since it has an extra arm advantage. It’s important I hear your answers below. Anyway, the trail.
You’re heading around the hill so you’re basically going up the side and back, curving around until you’re at the top. This isn’t a very steep hill, it’s pretty easy.
The petroglyphs aren’t really labeled but they’re easy enough to find. Once you’re at the top, just head over to the boulders and you’ll be able to see quite a few on the rocks there.
And be sure to look on both sides of you if you’re standing at the edge of the rocks looking at the parking area. Basically just turn to your left then turn in a little 180 degree arc while you’re looking down.
If you turn around so you’re back is to the parking lot, you should be able to see the other trail you could do a little more hiking on. I’m not sure which trail that is or how far it goes, though.
It looks like it might be the Cactus Wren Trail and the whole thing is 3.9 miles, rated moderate. I would like to do this one next time I’m there.
Once you’re done here, head back the way you came. On the way down is my favorite view. Obviously you pass this on the way up but I notice it more on the way down.
Just looking out to your left and seeing the mountains and all the cactus, I love it! I think I like this one more because of the mountains in the background instead of just looking down a hill and seeing the ground and city.
Not that those views are bad, but I like this one more. The Signal Hill Trail is a short but sweet trail to some cool petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park that’s easy to add to any trip itinerary. They definitely deserve a spot on your national park bucket list.
National Park Goodies
- If you’re planning to visit three or more national parks within a year from your trip, definitely get the America the Beautiful pass. It will save you money in the long run if you’re going to more than three parks in a year. Buy the pass here.
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- This National Park Planner (one of the ebooks from the bundle above) is perfect if you just want some guidance in your planning. Buy the planner here.
- Get yourself a National Park journal for all of the NPS sites (400+!) to keep track of your travels!
- Consider reading some of these books set in national parks before your big trip, on your adventure, or once you get home to take you back to the parks until next time.
Where is the Signal Hill Petroglyph Trail in Saguaro?
The Signal Hill Petroglyph area is 2.3 miles from Valley View Overlook trail via the Bajada Loop Drive. From there, you keep going on Hohokam Road (the one-way dirt road) then go left at the T. You can go to the right just to check it out then go back and just keep going straight.
From the visitor center, you can do the whole loop drive or just take N Kinney Rd back out to N Sandario Rd then take a right onto Golden Gate Rd. The picnic area and trailhead will be on a turnoff on your left. It’s about 4 miles from the visitor center.
How long is the Signal Hill Petroglyph Trail?
This one is super short at just 0.3 miles round-trip. It’s not paved but it is very easy. It has just 26 feet of elevation gain and can be done in 30 minutes or less. There is another trail up here that you can hike on more if you want to see more of the area.
Is the Signal Hill Petroglyph Trail worth it?
Yes! It’s a very quick hike and easy to do on your way out of the park doing the scenic drive on the west side. It’s a great short hike to petroglyphs. I wouldn’t say they’re the most exciting petroglyphs ever but they’re still worth seeing, especially if you haven’t seen them before.
Signal Hill Trail photo gallery
Have you hiked the Signal Hill Trail in Saguaro? What did you think of it? Do you want to do it?