Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is located in the southern region of Arizona in the United States. The park contains 91,442 acres of land, of which 70,905 acres comprise a designated wilderness, and is divided into two areas. Both sections of the park contain portions of the Sonoran Desert and the Rincon and Tuscon mountains ranges. The park received its name from the endemic saguaro cacti that occur throughout the area. In 1933, President Herbert Hoover designated the area as a national monument and in 1994 Congress passed the bill that established the area as Saguaro National Park. The entire park holds many types of cacti including prickly pear and barrel and animal species like the endangered lesser long-nosed bat and the Mexican spotted owl.

One area of the park, known as the Rincon Mountain District, is located along Tucson, Arizona in the east. It contains the original national monument lands. The saguaro cacti in this area grow larger than in the other section because runoff from the Rincon Mountains and higher amounts of rainfall. The highest peak in this area of the park is Mica Mountain, which reaches an elevation of 8,664 feet. An 8.3-mile road runs through this side of park, which can be used to accesses many main trails and two picnic areas, as well as the Rincon Mountain District Visitor Center. The park offers many activities including hiking and horse riding on trails and camping in back country areas, although campers must receive a permit to camp. Facilities are available ten miles away from the visitor’s center at Colossal Cave Mountain Park.

Image Caption: Photo of the entrance to Saguaro National Monument, Rincon District, on the east side of Tucson, AZ. Credit: Eegorr/Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)