Saguaro National Park offers a beautiful look located in Tucson, Arizona. The two districts make you get enough chance to enjoy the majestic Saguaro Cactus that becomes the cover of the park ground. The park is so unique and different from other national options. The area makes you able to explore many highlights in a few days and therefore, the area is a perfect getaway in a weekend.
It is interesting to know that technically, it is one park but it is a little bit something about the east side – west side mentally, like competing which side is much greater. If you are going to take some pictures, we hope we can leave a little help:
Saguaro West or Tucson Mountain District – It offers more dense cacti but with more crowded people.
Saguaro East or Rincon Mountain District – It looks closer to the mountain to enjoy the saguaro silhouettes against the purple mountain as the backdrop.
Things To Do In Saguaro National Park
1. Get The Scenic View From The Valley Overlook The Trail (West)
The hike is quite short, that is about 0.8 miles with an easy trail to access. Even there are a few stairs you can traverse but it will lead you to the stunning view overlooking the valley with Saguaro Cacti covers the ground.
2. Take Bajada Loop Drive (West)
Enjoy the experience of driving around 6 miles to explore the densest forests of cactus. The forest is unpaved and you don’t need a four-wheel drive car to go there. The road is also prone to flash flooding if you go in the monsoon season that is in July and August. Therefore, you should check the road conditions at the visitor center before driving through the jungle.
3. Try Cactus Forest Drive (East)
Head to the east district and you will find the paved loop trail with 8 miles of distance to explore. There, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape from your car. The driving experience is easy with plenty of pullouts to take some pictures.
4. Hike To Manning Camp (East)
For you who seek for a good backpacking trip, you should head to Levi Manning. It is a gathering spot that is so popular especially for the city’s elite. It depends on the route you have. It can be about 12 miles or even extends to 15.5 miles in one way. If you have no interest in hiking the distance, you should reach the camp by using horseback.
5. See The Flowers Bloom (East + West)
If you visit the park between the end of May and June, there is a big possibility to see the white and waxy flowers. It is Arizona’s state flower and the flower is the snack and the little treat for much animal population here.
6. Stop By The Visitor Center (East + West)
Do you think it is a cheesy thing to do?
Well, for us, yes! But it is worth to stop by the visitor center. There, you can even learn about the secret tidbits from rangers. Besides, it is good to always pick a patch to make you remember your travels. Red Hills Visitor Center in Saguaro West provides you with the stunning view of the mountain and the cacti forest. meanwhile, The Rincon Mountain Visitor Center In Saguaro East is smaller but they provide great information to make the most of your time to enjoy at the park.
7. Head To Mica Mountain (East)
It is great to turn off of the paved road and then head toward the Mica View picnic area. It makes you able to see the park’s highest peak, Mica Mountain.
8. See Ancient Petroglyphs On Signal Hill Trail (West)
This trail is quite short that you only need 0.3 miles to hike and it will bring you to the ancient petroglyphs that are over 800 years old.
9. Take A Photo Next To The Biggest Saguaro You Can Find (Both)
It seems interesting to find the biggest Saguaro Cactus and take a photo next to it. The cactus is so big that they can live for more than 250 years. The largest cactus is the Champion Saguaro, located in Maricopa County Arizona with the height at 45.3 feet.
10. Watch The Sunset From The Hugh Norris Trail (West)
If you want to enjoy the full hike here, it takes 10 miles to reach. Well, who says that you should do that? You don’t have to hike too far on the trail just to get the beautiful view of the sun over the mountains. Spend just five or eight minutes of hiking and look at the west. You will see how the sun glows over the cacti forest for sunset.
11. Go To The Desert Museum
Technically, the museum is outside of the park grounds. Well, it does not a big deal that you can stop there when you are exploring to the National Park. Unlike its name, it is more of a zoo compared to a museum. You should get to see all the wildlife in the Sonoran desert. If you want to see everything, spend about 3 hours at least.
More Facts About Saguaro National Park
It only takes 30 to 45 minutes to drive between the two districts. Besides, your pass is good for both locations for 7 days from the date of your purchase. Talking about the population of Saguaro cactus, it is more dense in the west district.
Do you know how to pronounce Saguaro?
Here is the cheat: ‘sa-WAH-roh we kept saying it all wrong.
When you visit the park in October, it is the mating season for tarantulas. Generally, you will see more sightings during this season.
If you have no much time available for this traveling and you have to choose the best place, we recommend you to pick Saguaro West.
Are you going to go to the west or the east? Have you planned to spend more time in this location? Where will you go there? Are you going to go there with your partner?
Whatever your choice, you have your own reason and be sure that you know what to do once you arrived in the location. Happy outdoors!