The unusual Saguaro National Park is a stunning nature getaway that’s especially enjoyable during the cooler months. Named after the iconic Saguaro cactus, it’s a must-visit for all who have dreamed of seeing the Wild West.
The large amount of tall Saguaro cacti dotting the landscape around Tucson, Arizona, make the Saguaro National Park look more like a forest than a straight-up desert.
The Saguaro cactus is America’s tallest cactus, reaching up to 40 – 60 feet (12 – 18 meters) tall with up to 25 arms. It can live up to 200 years! Saguaro cacti only grow naturally in the Sonoran Desert, which spans across parts of Arizona, California and Mexico.
The Saguaro National Park is split into two sections right outside of Tucson, Arizona: the Tucson Mountain District in the west and the Ricon Mountain District east of Tucson. Both sections of the park are accessible by car; namely the 8-mile Cactus Forest Scenic Loop Drive in Ricon Mountain District and the 6-mile Scenic Bajada Loop Drive in the Tucson Mountain District. Both roads offer opportunities to stop for scenic vistas, picnics and hiking trails. Some of the roads and trails are also open to cycling and horseback-riding.
Saguaro National Park isn’t just about the Saguaro Cactus. There are plenty of other cacti, succulents and even wildflowers. Spring is especially vibrant as most plants bloom. All these photos were taken (by Luci) in fall. Of course, fall is another great time to visit the Sonoran Desert, which might be a little too hot for comfort in summer.
A big draw of this U.S. National Park are the stunning desert sunsets accentuated by the mountain horizon and the iconic silhouettes of, you guessed it, tall Saguaro Cacti.
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Have you visited Saguaro National Park, Tucson, or Arizona? How about other parks or towns along the Sonoran Desert? Do you have any tips?
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