Saguaro National Park, Arizona – Home of giant Saguaros

Just outside Tucson on both sides, Saguaro National Park is the home of the giant Saguaro cacti. These majestic giants, able to stand tall up to 12 metres (40 feet) tall, dominate the landscape of central and south Arizona as well as Sonora state in Mexico.

Two Saguaros flanking and flanked by other desert plants, including a prickly pear cactus in the centre of the photo.

While you can see them across central and southern Arizona, Saguaro National Park is one of the best places to see Saguaros. There is a very high density of cacti there.

A close-up of the spines on a Saguaro.

Saguaro National Park can be found in two locations: Saguaro National Park West and Saguaro National Park East. The eastern part is the larger part but both of these parts have excellent examples of Saguaros. The eastern part includes some of the peaks of the Rincon mountains. The western part includes some of the peaks of the Tucson Mountains.

A young Saguaro. You can tell it is not a barrel cactus because the pines are straight.

There are trails through both parts of the park you can hike. Some of them are also horse trails and a couple allow dogs as well. Both also have trails that go over the peaks.

this view is from the outer edge of the foothills between the Catalina and Rincon mountain ranges.

In the east there is also a circular driving trail that you can do, which gives you a good tour of the park. It takes you to several different places where you can enjoy the landscape, which includes ravines, flat desert, rolling foothills and mountains.

The arch is a dead Saguaro. When they die, they dry out, leaving this hard skeleton-like structure behind.

Here are some more images from around the park:

Visiting Saguaro National Park East

This is the entrance to the eastern section. You can enter the visitors centre for free. After that you have to pay to enter the park. You can either buy a year pass (365 days) for $45 or a 7-day pass. The 7-day pass depends on the vehicle type. A private vehicle costs $25 while a motorcycle costs $20. If you walk, ride a bike or ride a horse, the pass costs $15. All prices are correct as of March 2022.

There are some days when you can enter the park without paying a fee. You can find those (and updated fees) here.

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