Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park (East) in half a day

Arizona is home to the nation’s largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park. The park is split into two sections, separated by the city of Tucson: the Tucson Mountain District on the west, and the Rincon Mountain District to the east. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.
 
We only visited the eastern district which includes a healthy saguaro forest at the foot of the Rincon Mountains and a variety of other desert communities. We stayed half a day in the park.
 
Saguaro National Park
 
Saguaro National Park
 
Cactus -- Saguaro National Park
 

Rincon Mountain District

At the Rincon Mountain visitor center you will find books, brochures, trail and drive guides, maps, exhibits, and a slide program on the saguaro and Sonoran Desert. Rangers can answer questions and help you plan your visit.

Saguaro National Park
 
At the visitor center begins a paved one-way road, the Cactus Forest Drive. This 8-mile scenic loop drive winds through a saguaro forest and offers a close look at a variety of Sonoran Desert life.

Saguaro National Park
 
Trails along the Cactus Forest Drive are suitable for short (and easy) hikes into the desert environment.

  • Desert Ecology Trail: a 0.25-mile round trip an paved, self-guiding trail
  • Freeman Homestead Trail: a 1-mile loop hike to learn about homesteading in the desert as well as modern tucson

Saguaro National Park
 
Saguaro National Park
 

Where to sleep?

You won´t find any hotel within the park, but there are a lot of lodging options in Tucson. We recommend the following hotel.
 

Staybridge Suites Tucson Airport

Staybridge Suites in Tucson
 

External links

National Park Service

Hotel

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