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    Arizona Saguaro Park Adventure Tour
    • U.S. National Park
    • Desert Wilderness Treks
    • Saguaro Cactus Sanctuary
    • Nature & Wildlife
    • Visitors Center
    • Wilderness Backpacking Treks
    • Endangered Species Home

    Saguaro Park National Park consists of two desert wilderness districts near Tucson, Arizona. One district lies 20 miles east and the other is about 15 miles to the west.

    Both districts conserve fine tracts of the Sonoran Desert and Saguaro Cactus. The park is home to two endangered animals, the Lesser Long-nosed Bat and the Mexican Spotted Owl. Each district has its own visitors center


    Arizona Saguaro Cactus Rincon Mountain District Trek

    Backpack camping is allowed within the Rincon Mountain District which is the eastern half of Saguaro National Park at designated sites only. A wilderness permit is required for all overnight stays.

    There are several Trailheads for Hiking and Equestrians at the east end of Broadway and Speedway.

    While this section of park has fewer Saguaro, they are much larger in size due to the greater rainfall here.

    Key Adventure Trek Features:

    • Cactus Forest Loop Drive - scenic car trip, enter from eastern end of Speedway.
    • Hope Camp Trails - Enter from southern boundary of the park. (Arizona Trail)
    • Tanque Verde Ridge Trail - longest trail of this district it runs from west to east.
    • Mica Mountain - Elevation 8,664, highest peak in the park.
    • Visitor Center -
    • Mica View Loop - 2 mile round trip hiking trail. Good place to find Gila Woodpeckers and Gilded Flickers in their saguaro nest holes.
    • Loma Verde Loop - 3.4 mile round trip hiking trail.
    • Deer Valley Loop - 4.1 mile round trip - use Wildhorse Trailhead. Splendid cactus forest area.
    • Garwood Loop - 5.6 mile round trip - use Douglas Spring Trailhead.
    • The Arizona Trail crosses this section of the park.
    • Park Map East District - hiking trailheads and campsites.

    The Park does not have campground facilities, and overnight parking is not allowed (except for Backpackers). The closest road-access campground is the Douglas Spring Campground which has a 5.9-mile hike to the park.


    Tucson Mountain District Trek

    Backpack camping is allowed within the Tucson Mountain District which is the eastern half of Saguaro National Park at designated sites only. A wilderness permit is required for all overnight stays.

    There are several Trailheads for Hiking and Equestrians.

    Closest campground is the Gilbert Ray Campground.


    Saguaro Cacti

    Saguaros are native to southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. They can grow to 200 years old and may not even sprout their first arms until they are 75. Saguaro National Park, which stands on either side of Tucson, was set aside to protect the species, though the cacti grow on other federal and state lands and on private property.

    The cacti are protected by federal and state laws that prohibit theft and vandalism — another problem facing the plants, particularly among youths who “tag” the saguaro with spray paint, the same way they would a wall. Others use the cacti for target practice.

    Michael Reimer, a special investigator for the Arizona Agriculture Department, said vandalism has become the bigger problem. He said some youths recently mutilated a 25-foot cactus. “The plant’s going to die probably, from what’s been done,” he said.


    Scout Ranger
    BSA NPS Park Service Patch

    Boy Scouts can earn special recognition for service performed at any one of our National Parks. Scouts are also encouraged to submit a short narrative to the BSA Good Turn for America website describing their participation and lessons learned. 5 hours service for the certificate, 10 hours for their cool patch.
    Scout Ranger - See the NPS Website here for program details.


    Saguaro Park National Park
    Rincon Mtn Visitors Center - 3693 South Old Spanish Trail, Tucson AZ 85730; 520-733-5153;
    Tucson Mtn Visitors Center - 2700 North Kinney Road, Tucson AZ 85743; 520-733-5158;
    NPS Website

    The park gets its name from the saguaro, a large cactus which is native to the region. Many other kinds of cactus, including barrel, cholla, and prickly pear, are abundant in the park. One endangered animal, the Lesser Long-nosed Bat, lives in the park part of the year during its migration, together with one threatened species, the Mexican Spotted Owl.

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    NOTICE: Removal or damage of any site, artifact, artifact fragment, or rock art can incur penalties under state law of 5 years in prison and a maximum $150,000 fine.

    Please note that Southern Arizona is heavily visited in the summer (May-August) which makes getting reservations difficult. The best time to visit is March / April / September / October when there is beautiful weather and less competition for reservations. The nearest lodging is in Tucson.


    Stopping Saguaro Thieves
    New Cacti features GPS Tracking Chips

    Implanted radio chips help park rangers protect precious cactus from Wild West poachers. Arizona's rarest plant is being stolen straight from National Park lands.

    A young saguaro with no arms sprouted could sell in Arizona for about $1,000 but can fetch much more when shipped elsewhere. The value increases as a saguaro ages and grows more arms. Saguaro thieves can face serious jail time.

    In the late 1980s, federal authorities went so far as to go undercover and set up a nursery to try to learn the identities of those who had been stealing saguaros. That four-year investigation netted 21 indictments.


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    The Arizona Trail
    800 Mile Walk Across Arizona

    The Arizona Trail is an 800+ mile recreation trail from Mexico to Utah that connects mountain ranges, canyons, deserts, forests, wilderness areas, historic sites, trail systems, points of interest, communities, and people. It serves dayhikers, backpackers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, trail runners, nature enthusiasts, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and mule and llama packers.

    This trail passes thru the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park near Mica Mountain, the tallest peak in the park.


    Horse Trails in the Saguaro Park

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