saguaro

  • Arizona
  • Established October 14, 1994
  • 142 square miles

Like an elaborate cartoon-scape, the saguaro cactus of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert stand tall and still, just waiting for the Road Runner to speed through, Wile E. Coyote in hot pursuit. To visit Saguaro National Park is to realize that cartoons derive from reality. There really are road runners and coyotes here, although neither one is usually carrying dynamite or jumping off cliffs. Saguaro National Park is a lot less flashy than cartoons, and a lot more alive. The park is just right outside Tucson, and is one of the few national parks located so close to a large city. Saguaro is a park in two sections: the smaller section to the west of Tucson, and the larger part to the east. Between the two sections, the park holds 1.6 million giant saguaro cacti, many of them between 125-150 years old. The saguaro grow as high as 40 feet tall, and can weight up to 4,000 pounds.

Driving or walking through the forest of saguaro, at first you might think that Yosemite Sam had been there before you, shooting up the cacti with his pistols. But, in fact, the holes in the cacti are dwellings for the animals that live in a symbiotic relationship with the forest. Each saguaro supports a community of animals, including rodents, honey bees, and song birds like the elf owl, cactus wrench, and gilded flicker. Lower to the ground, there are 25 other kinds of cacti, as well as wildflowers in the spring, and rock art sites dating back as far as 3000 BCE. Ranging through it all are Arizona king snakes, bobcats, mountain lions, white-tailed deer and, of course, coyotes and road runners.

National Parks Revealed will help you really make the most of your trip to Saguaro National Park. We will put together a custom itinerary just for you, that will give you as much time as you want, with whatever activities best suit your needs and desires. We recommend combining a trip to Saguaro with visits to Sedona and the Grand Canyon and possibly a few of the other wonderful national parks and monuments in the American southwest. As always, we will arrange for you to stay at the best accommodations in the area.