Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections, Saguaro East and Saguaro West, separated by Tucson, Arizona. Encompassing parts of the Sonoran Desert, there are plenty of interesting things to explore in this vast and fascinating park. If it’s your first time to Saguaro National Park, you’ll definitely want to hit all the highlights!
Valley View Overlook Trail
Under a mile hike, this trail offers spectacular views of a valley laden with gorgeous Saguaro cacti. An excellent introduction to the park, the Valley View Overlook Trail certainly shouldn’t be missed on your visit to the park.
Bajada Loop Drive
A scenic six-mile drive through the park, the Bajada Loop Drive takes you through some of the park’s most densely-packed Saguaro cactus areas. The drive is on a dirt road, but it’s well maintained and cars typically shouldn’t have a problem. *Note that this area has been known to succumb to flash flooding, so make sure to check with the visitor center for the current conditions before heading out.
Signal Hill Petroglyphs
More than 800 years ago, the prehistoric Hohokam people inhabited these lands. Take a quick, easy hike to Signal Hill to explore the remnants of this civilization. Here you’ll see the well-preserved petroglyphs which will connect you with this fascinating long-ago culture.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Just outside of Saguaro West, you’ll come to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Filled with native Sonoran Desert animals, you’ll have the opportunity to view the region’s wildlife zoo-style. The museum also includes botanical gardens, an art gallery, a natural history museum, and an aquarium. It’s definitely worth a visit if you have the time.
Cactus Forest Drive
View the stunning landscape of Saguaro East on this eight-mile paved loop. This is an easy way to get a feel for the beauty of this side of the park, and there are plenty of places to pull off for photo ops. Saguaro East is less-densely packed with cacti, but offers phenomenal views of the Rincon Mountains.