This unique desert is home to the most recognizable cactus in the world, the majestic saguaro. Visitors of all ages are fascinated and enchanted by these desert giants, especially their many interesting and complex interrelationships with other desert life.
Saguaro cacti provide their sweet fruits to hungry desert animals. They also provide homes to a variety of birds, such as the Harris’ hawk, Gila woodpecker and the tiny elf owl. Yet, the saguaro requires other desert plants for its very survival. During the first few years of a very long life, a young saguaro needs the shade and protection of a nurse plant such as the palo verde tree. With an average life span of 150 years, a mature saguaro may grow to a height of 50 feet and weigh over 10 tons.
While most visitors to Saguaro National Park choose a leisurely drive on one of
the scenic loop drives, those eager for an escape from the rigors of city life often opt to explore the park on one of many trails. With over 150 miles of hiking trails, ranging from flat and easy strolls in the Sonoran Desert to steep and rugged hikes into the Rincon Mountains, visitors of every ability have a place to get out of the car and explore.
Rincon Mountain District Visitor Center - Exhibits focus on the natural and cultural history of the Sonoran Desert. A fifteen-minute orientation program to Saguaro National Park is shown throughout the day. Ranger guided programs are offered throughout the year. Several different programs are available daily during the busy winter months (November to mid-April). Please call the visitor center for more information. The Rincon Mountain District visitor center is located 15 miles (24 km) east of downtown Tucson, Arizona. (520) 733-5153.
Tucson Mountain District - Exhibits focus on the cultural and natural history of the Sonoran Desert. A fifteen-minute program exploring the Native American perspective of the Sonoran Desert is shown throughout the day. Ranger guided programs are offered throughout the year. Several different programs are available daily during the busy winter months (November to mid-April). Please call the visitor center for more information. The Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park is located 15 miles (24 km) west of downtown Tucson, Arizona. (520) 733-5158.
Vehicle or Motorcycle - $10 - 7 days
Walk-in or Bicycle - $5 - 7 days
Saguaro Annual Pass - $25
The Rincon Mountain District may be reached from the City of Tucson by traveling east on Broadway or Speedway to Freeman Road; Take Freeman Road south (right) to Old Spanish Trail (4 miles [6.5 km] from Speedway, 3 miles [5 km] from Broadway). Turn left onto Old Spanish Trail heading south. Look for signs to the Park entrance. The Park entrance is approximately .25 miles [.4 km] from Freeman Road.
The Tucson Mountain District may be reached from Tucson by traveling west on Speedway Boulevard. At the junction with Camino de Oeste, Speedway Boulevard will change names to Gates Pass Road. From this junction, continue to drive west on Gates Pass Road until you reach the "T" intersection with Kinney Road (4 miles [6.5 km]). Turn right on Kinney Road and drive three miles [5 km] north to the Park entrance. The entrance is on the right side of Kinney Road.