Plan your visit to
Saguaro National Park
An Important Part of the American West
The park was originally established as a national monument in 1933, but did not gain national park status until 1994 making it a relatively young national park. Saguaro National Park lies west of Tucson, Arizona and has become a huge draw for anyone looking to get into the spirit of the great American west.
When to go
January – February – March – April – May – June – July – August – September – October – November – December
Day Trip – Hiking – Scenic Drives – Bird-Watching – Wild flowers – Archaeological Sites – Stunning Vistas – Wildlife – Biking – Family
A View of the Stars
When you have the opportunity to leave civilization behind in search of the wilderness you have a unique opportunity stars like you have never seen before. Many of the stars in the sky are not visible for the fluorescent glow of the city lights. Even those in the rural areas are not afforded a very clear view, but when you are in a remote area like Saguaro National Park you can have a truly clear view of the night sky. Star gazers throughout the world love to camp in the park just to enjoy a night under the covering of the heavens. If you want to enjoy a bit of star gazing be sure to plan your trip around the weather. You do not want the clouds to disrupt your perfect night.
Most national parks are comprised of one continuous area, but Saguaro National Park is unique for the fact that the park is divided into two different districts. The districts are Rincon Mountain District in the East and Red Hills Tucson Mountain District in the West. The east district offers visitors the chance to learn about the prospectors of days gone by and the west district gives visitors the opportunity to learn about life on the range from a Native American standpoint. Visiting both districts will ensure that you have a well-rounded visit and see all that there is to see within Saguaro National Park and they are both covered by one entrance fee.
Saguaro National Park is an amazing place to take a hike through the desert landscape. It is comprised of very low lying valleys as well as steep mountain ranges, so hikers can choose their surroundings. There is also a number of well-maintained trails throughout the park making it a perfect destination for both seasoned as well as novice hikers. While hiking through the park you may wonder how animals can live in such a vast and hot landscape, but Saguaro National Park is home to many different birds, mammals, and amphibians including many species of snakes and frogs. You may have to look deep because many of the species are camouflaged to escape larger animals, but if you look closely you will see that Saguaro National Park is full of wildlife.
Things to Know
When visiting Saguaro National Park there are a number of things that you need to be aware of. One of the most important is the fact that there is an entrance fee associated with the park. The main entrance fee is $5 for individuals and $10 for a vehicle. The pass lasts for a full seven days, but by far the best option is the annual pass which will set you back a mere $35.
Camping is a very fun activity for families and is encouraged within the Saguaro National Park. There are six different campgrounds to choose from scattered throughout the area, but be warned before you go that the park is quite a popular place in the summer months so advanced reservations are a good idea. The fees for camping are $8 per night with the maximum number of people limited to six people per campsites.
Since the area around Saguaro National Park is in the desert region of the country, water will be an issue. Manning campground is the only camp that provides water to guests. All other locations require that you bring all the water that you will need for the duration of your stay. It is recommended that you bring approximately a gallon of water per person per day for everyone in your group. It may sound excessive, but you will be happy that you have the water when the sun is high in the sky.
Saguaro National Park is lovingly maintained by the park staff, but they do encourage visitors to adopt the no trace mentality when visiting the park. This means that you take out everything that you bring in and therefore leave no trace of your group being there. This enables the park to remain clean and keeps the animals from becoming injured or merely adapted to human food. The park rangers offer information at the visitor’s center of how visitors can keep the park running at its best so everyone can enjoy its beauty for years to come.
[rating itemreviewed=”Saguaro National Park” rating=”8″ reviewer=”Adventure Review – National Parks” dtreviewed=”29 December 2016″ best=”10″ worst=”0″]Some national parks are named for the land surrounding them or even named after the founder, but Saguaro National Park is named for the saguaro cacti that are famous throughout the area.[/rating]
Download a Saguaro National Park Map
Planning a trip to Saguaro National Park? Be sure to download the official Saguaro National Park map, below, or use our interactive maps to find restaurants, hotels, or activities along the route of your choosing in and around the park. Either way, don’t leave home without a map of Saguaro National Park. This free Saguaro National Park map shows park roads, attractions, and more.
Average High/Low Temperatures
Official Saguaro National Park Map – Click on the Map to download