Saguaro National ParkTucson, AZ 

Marvel at the Nation’s Largest Cactus.

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park protects the nation’s largest cacti, the giant saguaro cactus, portions of the Sonoran Desert, and two mountain ranges. The park contains two sections – one east of Tucson and the other west of Tucson. President Herbert Hoover designated the land a national monument in 1933. Congress established it as a national park in 1994.

Saguaro Park East protects the Rincon Mountain District east of Tucson. It is accessible by the 8.3 mile Cactus Forest Loop Drive.

Best Time to Visit

The busiest time of the year is during the winter, from November to March, as the temperatures are cooler. The cactus begin to bloom in late February and March with the Saguaro typically blooming in late April.

Busiest Months

  • Percent of annual visits

Saguaro Cactus

The Saguaro is the largest cactus in the United States and an iconic symbol of the American Southwest. It takes about 200 years for it to reach a height of 40 feet. At that time, they can weigh up to a ton. The cactus uses its root system to collect water that is in the ground as well as new rainfall before storing it in the interior of the cactus for use during times of drought. The Saguaro only grows in southern Arizona.


Saguaro West contains petroglyphs at Signal Hill. This rock art was created by the Hohokam people approximately a thousand years ago. The site is just north of the Signal Hill picnic area via a short hike and contains over 200 petroglyphs. Petroglyphs are carved into the rock surface.

Day Hikes and Backpacking

King Canyon Trail: A 6.8 mile out and back in Saguaro West that climbs to the top of Wasson Peak, the highest point in this section of the park.

Tanque Verde Ridge Trail: This trail is the main route into the backcountry in Saguaro East. It is 11 miles to Cowhead Saddle, but the first two or three miles make for an appealing day hike.

Backpacking: There are five trailheads and six backcountry campgrounds in the Saguaro Wilderness Area, which has nearly 60,000 acres of roadless backcountry. Bear-proof containers are available at the designated campsites due to a small population of black bears. Before you set off for an overnight, be sure to plan your water consumption as this is a desert and water can be scarce.

Fishing Saguaro

The desert isn’t a particularly hot destination for fishing. Most fishing in the area is done at the four urban parks in Tucson which are stocked regularly. The state publishes a stocking schedule and the hottest fishing occurs in the days after the fish are stocked.

Recent Bird Sightings


Average Temperature (Monthly)

  • Average High Temperature (°F)
  • Average Low Temperature (°F)



Lodging and Camping

Saguaro National Park does not contain any road-accessible campgrounds. Backcountry camping is available in designated sites with a wilderness permit in Saguaro East. Be sure to plan for your water consumption as only Manning Camp has water available year-round. Road accessbile campgrounds are available in several nearby state and county parks, national monuments and Coronado National Forest.

Saguaro is located a short drive from Tucson, Arizona. With a population of around half a million people in the city, there are numerous hotel and otherlodging options within a thirty minute drive of the national park.

Roundtrip Flights to Tucson:


Saguaro National Park
Saguaro East
Saguaro West

The 61 US National Parks
Acadia National Park
American Samoa National Park
Arches National Park
Badlands National Park
Big Bend National Park
Biscayne National Park
Black Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Channel Islands National Park
Congaree National Park
Crater Lake National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park
Denali National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
Gates of the Arctic National Park
Gateway Arch National Park
Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Great Basin National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Haleakala National Park
Hot Springs National Park
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hot Springs National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park
Isle Royale National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Katmai National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park
Kings Canyon National Park
Kobuk Valley National Park
Lake Clark National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mount Rainier National Park
North Cascades National Park
Olympic National Park
Petrified Forest National Park
Pinnacles National Park
Redwood National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Saguaro National Park
Sequoia National Park
Shenandoah National Park
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Virgin Islands National Park
Voyageurs National Park
Wind Cave National Park
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yosemite National Park
Zion National Park
© 2019 Parkcation
Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Advertise | Contact