Home to the giant saguaro cactus, Saguaro National Park houses more than 1,160 plant species. Located in southern Arizona, the park covers over 142 mi² and provides a safe haven for many wildlife.
The park is relatively accessible by car from both west and east entrance. In the western Tucson Mountain District, Signal Hill Trail leads to petroglyphs of the ancient Hohokam people. The visitor center is located near this entrance. In the eastern Rincon Mountain District, Cactus Forest Drive is a loop road with striking views of the desert landscape.
Bajada Loop Drive – This is a 5-mile drive that includes the Hohokam Road and par of the Golden Gate Road. This dirt road offers an amazing sunset view of the park with the highest concentration of saguaro cactus plants. If your lucky on the right day and at the right time, you will able to see the saguaro cactus golden glows. We were very lucky on our first day to the park and was able to see the amazing golden glow.
Cactus Garden Trail – Behind the Red Hills Visitor Center lies the most concentrated grouping of saguaro cactus. This roughly 1-mile developed trail will take you around the back of the Visitor Center to see the countless wild saguaro plants that are native to the region.
Valley View Trail – This is a 0.8 mile round trip developed trail that takes up a vista point to see the western peaks of the Tucson Mountain. The trail has many detours that will take you to different areas of the Bajada Loop Drive so feel free to explore and get lost a little when you’re here.
Signal Hill – Towards the north end of the Bajada loop is a 0.3 mile round trip hike that takes you to see dozens of drawings etched into rock. These have been dated from the Hohokan period, 450-1450 CE.
The park has limited backcountry camping that requires permit so please check with https://www.nps.gov/sagu/planyourvisit/camping.htm if you plan to camp. There’s no camping accommodation for RV or trailer, so we had stayed at a nearby hotel.
Closest Cities to the Park:
Right on the outskirt of the park is Tucson, and you can fly into Tucson International Airport (TUS) to visit the park.
Recommended Length Stay: At least 2-3 days to check out the different trails that the park has to offer.
Would we be back? Maybe, if we’re in the area for business for a family event.
Fore photos, click here.