Saguaro National Park, Tucson
Its on either side of Tucson. National park fee ($8 I think, but we used our national park pass $50 a year). If you are in Tucson and you havent seen many Saguaro cacti then this is the place to go. I dont think it is worth driving from say Phoenix especially to see this park as I think there are just as many in south Mountain city park.
The perfect place to take in the Sonoran Desert! The Saguaro National Park has two units: Rincon Mountains (about 12 east of the city) and Tucson Mountains. The latter is free and is the better choice for those with limited time. There are a variety of trails (both long and short), a nice scenic drive and a visitors center. The Rincon Mountain unit contains more than 57,000 acres. Visit the Nation Park System website for all the information. If you visit bring plenty of water!!!!
By the way, Saguaro is pronounced "SWA - row."
Saguaro National Park: Tucson’s famous saguaro forest encompasses almost 80,000 acres in two separate regions of Pima County. The main section, to the east, includes Tucson’s highest peaks, Rincon, Spud Rock and Mica Mountains. Beneath slopes lined with pine, fir and aspen, the foothills are covered with saguaro cactus, a species that only grows in this area of the world. A visitor center contains special exhibits about the saguaro and other desert flora and explains the influence of men and animals on the Sonoran Desert. Some of these cacti live for more than 200 years and reach a height of 50 feet or more. During May or early June, white or yellow blossoms top the saguaro branches. Arizona’s early legislators selected the saguaro blossom as the state flower and applied its likeness to the Great Seal of Arizona. Saguaro National Park West is 16 miles west of Tucson in the Tucson Mountains. Naturalists conduct daily interpretive tours at both sites at 10am & 2pm during the winter season. Park headquarters, 733-5100– Rincon Mountains visitor center, 733-5153 – Tucson Mountains visitor center, 733-5158.
See the saguaro cactus in the Saguaro National Park - they are huge! This is the cactus that you think of when you think of the Arizona desert and old cowboy movies.
This cactus can grow up to 50 feet! What blew me away was the number of cactus and how bizarre they look.
The east unit is less developed but is overall larger than the west unit. It offers many hiking opportunities
A short walk from the Signal hill picnic area is a petroglyphs site from the ancestors of the current Tohono O'odham Indians.
Saguaro National Park has 2 main areas, one east of the city and one west. The West unit is more developed and offers more recreational opportunites but has less overall space.