Saguaro National Park is a park within the National Park Service. It is split into two parks that straddle the East and West sides of Tucson. The difference is that the West park is part of the Tucson Mountain District and the East park is part of the Rincon Mountain District, both parks are only a short 30 minute drive from the heart of Tucson. We explored the East park and were not disappointed!
We visited Saguaro National Park – East the day after we hiked 8 miles at elevation in Chiricahua National Monument so we wanted to take it easy and just hike around 5 miles. Luckily, all of the trails at the park are short and on mostly flat terrain.
Now that we have been in the desert for almost two weeks, Alan and I were starting to get familiar with all the flora and fauna we were encountering. We even started naming the saguaros that had “eyeballs”. Meet Bobby, a 110-ish year old saguaro (below). If conditions are right, saguaros start growing arms when they are around 90 years old. Pretty fascinating stuff!
Hiking Cactus Forrest Trails
Remember how I said we were going to take it easy and only hike 5 miles? Well we hiked 10 miles due to an addition error on our part a.k.a. we don’t know how to add. But it was so worth it! We saw the best that Saguaro National Park has to offer. So many incredible saguaros, cholla cactus plants, palo verde trees, blooming cacti, birds, flowing streams and a waterfall!
We originally thought we were getting tired of the desert views but visiting this park reminded us how unique and wonderful every desert landscape can be.
Check out our photos from our visit to Saguaro National Park – East.