3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730-5601
Just because it’s one of the newer national parks (established in 1994) doesn’t mean Saguaro National Park has less to offer
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One of the few major parks located in the suburbs of a sizable city — in this case, Tucson, Arizona — it is a veritable desert wonderland, with amazing saguaro cacti interspersed with other Sonoran desert flora such as hedgehog cacti, ocotillo, and prickly pear. While most visitors see the park from the luxury of their cars in order to beat the desert heat, the more adventurous will find more than 150 miles of hiking trails.
Entrance fees: $10/vehicle for 7 days or $5/individual for 7 days
Visitor centers: Rincon Mountain District and Tucson Mountain District visitor centers are open daily except December 25.
Accommodations: Backcountry camping is available. No lodging is available in the park.
Saguaro National Park takes its name from the saguaro cactus, the giant, many-armed symbol of southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Standing as high as 50 feet and weighing as much as ten tons, these silent, slow-growing sentinels are a vital link in the ecology of one of the richest and most varied deserts in the world.
The park is divided into two units on either side of the city of Tucson: Saguaro East sprawls across 67,293 acres, including much of the rocky Rincon Mountains, which peak at an elevation of 8,666 feet.
Saguaro West takes in 24,034 acres and is bordered on the south by the lower, gentler Tucson Mountains. Adjoining portions of Coronado National Forest and Tucson Mountain County Park extend the protected area to more than 200,000 acres.
Ready to explore the desert in all its glory? Take a look at the next page for some sightseeing tips.
Region: Southeastern Arizona
Size: 91,000 acres
Terrain: Desert, mountains, and cactus and pine forests
Highlights: Valley View Overlook, Cactus Forest Drive, and Desert Ecology Trail
Wildlife: Desert birds, jackrabbits, coyotes, and bobcats
Activities: Self-driving tours, hiking, and camping