Not mentioned on any park map is an unnamed metal windmill off of the Gila Monster Trail. There is a sign for it on the trail and it is a short walk and worth the few extra minutes to check it out. It appears to be a way water was pumped up from a wash. The windmill sits on a small cliff above a wash. In the wash is a basin to collect water.
Kind of an eerie place. The windmill still work and creaks as the wind blows. I took some video of the windmill. You can hear the wind blowing as the windmill squeaks away as the sun sets. Definitely worth seeing.
Driving Scenic Bajada Loop Drive I drove to Sus Picnic Area. There are a lot of various very interesting plants there: cacti including saguaros, palo verde trees, ocotillos and creosote bushes. Add a lot of fast running lizards :-).
So, don't forget to turn left driving north Hohokam Road, folow the direction sign to Sus Picnic Area.
About 128 miles of trails traverse Saguaro East, winding through the desert and into the mountain country. Some of these will take you into the large wilderness areas of the Rincon Mountains and their foothills. Very few people travel here because it can be visited only on foot or horseback. (If you have your own horse.) In the mountains you will find woodlands of scrub oak and pine along with forests of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. Before hiking or horseback riding (remember you bring the horse!) check with a ranger at the visitor center for permits, as well as to find out what the conditions are like. Backcountry camping is allowed, but only at designated sites, and you must carry permits if you are in the backcountry. The photo was taken by my husband.
Look at my picture taken in Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, please. I was a little bit fascinating about this strange, thin, tall plant. What's that? Do you know? E-mail me, please.
It looks like ancient, prehistoric horsetail. Am I wrong? But where are dinosauros?
Javelina = Collared Peccary is the only wild, native, pig-like animal found in the United States. I didn't meet any alive javelina in Saguaro National Park although they live there. More, they live from Argentina through Central America to just southwestern USA.
Hmmm... I met a few dead adult and kiddy javelinas just in front of Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - in a shadow of Palo Verde trees. Look at my picture :-)
The shortest (100 yards = 91 m hehe) and easiest hiking trail is Cactus Garden Trail which begins at parking lot in front of Red Hills Visitor Center. It's wheelchair accessible.
There are interpretative signs along this very short trail - so, you can get a lot of info if you are intereted and know English :-).
It's my recommendation: unpaved road around western part of Tucson Mountain District (= West Unit) but not very bumpy = available for each car. You can find a lot of really very tall saguaros there.
Notice: the loop is partly one-way road, drive counter-clockwards not to be forced to U-turn.
MAP ONLINE - Detailed map of West Unit
The best way of fast visit to Saguaro National Park is driving around and stopping in any interesting point you pass. Although unpaved shoulders are often wide hmm... you are not allowed to stop at some places and you are not allowed to walk outside designated park trails and walkways.
Not all cacti are as tall as mature giant saguaros.
So, if you have low tall complex (inferiority complex) - no worries - you can take a lot of pictures of yourself with lower than you cacti :-)) and a lot of pictures of taller cacti alone.
I am 180 cm tall (or 181 cm in the morning hehe). How much feet and inches is it?
Usuful notice: my (left) foot is 27 cm long - just checked :-)))
Be sure that many mature cacti are taller than you in Saguaro National Park, especially giant saguaro cacti which me be as high as 50 feet ! (= 15 m). WOW! Like 5-story building !!!
Some cacti are a little strange in shape like this one on my picture. A little male shape on the top, although... so many spines :-))) Am I wrong?
Do you know the name of this species? Email, me please!
Except well known species of cacti (saguaro, barrel, cholla) you can find a lot of less known species.
Wear good glasses and enlarge my picture! Hmm... better not to sit down on this place :-))).