The entrance to Saguaro National Park is conveniently located right outside the city of Tucson. You can easily take a short trip if you are passing through or stop for a few days to really see the sights. We were quite lucky to find an Air BNB that was a quick walk to the entrance of the park! Then, it is a just a few miles to the visitor center, which we highly recommend.
Saguaro Cactus EVERYWHERE!
Expect to see these giants absolutely everywhere. Yes, you may have seen them on the highway, but there is simply no comparison to what you will see inside the park. It is stunning in every direction. The park ranger we met explained that some are deteriorating, but that the crop is absolutely in good health. They live a very long life, but they do not stay up forever. We certainly saw the whole life cycle of these gorgeous structures. You should stop by the visitor center and check on any upcoming lectures or guided walks as they are not to be missed. We were very glad to learn more about the flora and fauna of the region, and even the kids loved hearing from the experts.
There are a huge variety of trails to chose from. We wanted advice from the park rangers as we were inexperienced with the topography and were concerned about the heat during our July visit. We were sure to get there early in the morning to miss the heat, but there is almost no shade during hikes. For this reason, we opted to follow the park rangers instructions and chose 3-4 hours of hikes and sites that he recommended above is one amazing view we discovered along the way!
Flora: The mountain paired with the variety of colorful flowers and blooms all around made this particularly unique setting one to remember. We picked up a coloring guide from the visitor center inside the park and enjoyed drawing and painting what we saw. We didn’t expect such color and variety in this climate!
Sunsets: The colors abound in every sunset photo we took. It gets cooler at night even in July, which was a welcome reprieve from the summer heat. We can’t wait to return to watch even more of these deep sunsets.
Petroglyphs: These ancient works of art made a fun game for the family to spot. Along the trails, you can often spot these designs in the sun. We enjoyed imagining how they were made and who might have made them. Be sure to hear from the park rangers about the unique history of these works of art. They can be described as carvings, as they are made by etching away at the surface of the stone. We found suns, animals, arrows, and other designs.