Saguaro National Park

Arizona, United States of America

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About Saguaro National Park

Having been protected as a National Monument since 1933, Saguaro became a National Park in 1994. The park is split into two districts laying either side of the city of Tuscon in Arizona: Saguaro West, the Tuscon Mountain District and Saguaro East, the Rincon Mountain District. The total area is 370 km2 (~143 mi2) of which around 78% are designated wilderness, in other words protected from development. The area generally is Sonoran Desert.

Flora and Fauna

The park protects the giant saguaro cactus. This renowned symbol of the American West is now only found in a few parts of the United States. Other types of cacti flourish too, including the cholla, barrel and prickly pear varieties; and in spring after a healthy rainfall the blooming wildflower displays are spectacular.

Saguaro East is the larger and wetter of the two districts, having a higher rainfall and water run-off from the Rincon Mountains. It covers a portion of the Coronado National Forest, a temperate coniferous forest. While the cacti are fewer here, they grow larger because of the greater availability of water. The area is only really accessible on foot or by horse, but once you get there, there are over 206 km (128 mi) of well-marked and maintained trails for hikers and horseback riders.

Saguaro West lies at a lower elevation overall and is covered with denser saguaro forest, but otherwise has less vegetation because of the drier environment. 

The Lesser Long-nosed Bat, an endangered species, spends part of the year here during its migration. The threatened Mexican Spotted Owl nests here at higher elevations, generally above 2,134 m (~7,000 ft).

Horse Riding
Guided Tours
Landscape Photography
Arizona, United States of America
Latitude: 32.191884, Longitude: -110.661271