Beyond activities, the park itself protects one of the true icons of the American West, the giant Saguaro Cactus. Saguaro National Park East, Loop Drive, Cactus Forest Dr, Tucson, Arizona Saguaro has trails for every fitness level. Saguaro National Park is separated into two districts surrounding Tucson, Arizona. This part of the park has much higher elevations than the Tucson Mountain District and thus offers different views and scenery from the western part of the park. 1. NOTE: Saguaro East is a national park and does require a small fee to enter the park. The Saguaro National Park that we explored is on the south-eastern side of Tucson. The Rincon Mountain District is about 30 minutes east of Tucson, and 1-hour from the Tucson Mountain District. - FIREARMS: The use of firearms is prohibited within the boundaries of the National Park. Both the East and West district both have scenic loop drives but there are some big differences. Saguaro National Park Headquarters and Rincon Mountain District 3693 South Old Spanish Trail Tucson, AZ 85730-5601 520.733.5153. Scenery on the Cactus Forest Drive. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $15 per person. The Loop in Saguaro National Park East is a winding 8 mile paved loop, mostly one way, and with very little traffic. The primary attraction in Saguaro National Park East is the Cactus Forest Loop Drive. Photographer: Mike Conway. The first third of The Loop features steep but short rolling hills, followed by a sustained 4% - 8% climb, with smoother rollers in the last third of The Loop. The course is a challenging 8 mile loop with lots of rolling hills (see course profile in photo to right). Saguaro National Park is divided into two distinct districts. The park is open to bikes and pedestrians 24 hours a day. Valley View Overlook Trail. Established in 1933 as a national monument, the original park comprised the Rincon Mountain District east of Tucson. Set on two separate sides of the city of Tuscon, Saguaro National Park showcases the Sonoran Desert. Tucson, AZ separates Saguaro National Park into two regions – Tucson Mountain District (West) and Rincon Mountain District (East). Located both to the east and west of Tucson, Saguaro National Park is an iconic experience in the American Southwest. Location: Photo Location Accuracy: Known Location. Between 1936 and 1939, the Civilian Conservation Corps built Cactus Forest Drive, designed as a scenic loop that allowed visitors to experience the unique ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert. Ride Description. History [ edit ] Saguaro National Monument was initially created in 1933 by President Hoover, and became the 52nd national park in 1994. Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star Saguaro National Park The two districts, Rincon Mountain and Tucson Mountain, offer stunning desert landscapes, petroglyphs of the ancient Hohokam people, and an abundance of cacti. 8 miler and 5k family walk and run at Saguaro National Park East at 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail Rd. -Drones are not allowed.See the our Laws & Policies below for more details - ATVs: All terrain vehicles are not permitted anywhere in the park. Hike a loop in the giant Saguaro Cactus forest. The Rincon Mountain District is located east of the city and the Tucson Mountain District is located outside northwest of Tucson. Know as “The Loop,” to Tucson cyclists. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $45. The History Of Saguaro National Park. Saguaro National Park is split into two different "districts" found east and west of Tucson. Hiking in Saguaro National Park Though the mountainous desert topography might look intimidating, Saguaro National Park is one of the easier national parks to hike. “Bring plenty of water,” says Fisher. West Saguaro Hikes: 1. Aid stations at approximately 2, 4, 6, and 7 miles provide plenty of relief with Culligan water. Saguaro National Park East, Loop Drive, Cactus Forest Dr, Tucson, Arizona Stone wall of mylonitic gneiss cobbles supporting east loop road in Saguaro National Park. Take Highway 89 South to I-17 South to I-10 East to Tucson and the park. Usually, this graded dirt road is passable in a standard sedan. Take I-17 South to I-10 East to Tucson and the park. Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star Saguaro National Park Photo Date: February 2020. Visiting Saguaro National Park. This hike is less than 1 mile. While both Saguaro East and Saguaro West contain high densities of saguaro cacti, the park is also home for numerous other desert species. The park is open year-round. ... On the east … Walk up to the ranger booth, and pay the park entrance fee. The east park also has a loop drive, although its only five miles, and fewer hiking trails. Saguaro National Park Scenic drives. Now, you might wonder what the difference between Saguaro National Park West (Tucson Mountain) and Saguaro National Park East (Rincon Mountain) is. Watch the brief orientation movie, get a map, and ask the Park Ranger or docent about current road conditions on Bajada Loop Drive. Overview. The answer is: a lot. Fees are $25 per vehicle or $20 per motorcycle. Loop of connected trails at Saguaro National Park East, made up Shantz, Pink Hill, Loma Verde, Cholla and Cactus Forest trails in 2012. The Saguaro is only found in a small portion of the United States in the Sonoran Desert and it is something special to stand next to one. Please resist the urge to through yourself in their welcoming, outstretched arms. Mica View Trail The southern trailhead for the loop hike is at the Mica View picnic area, reached by a smooth, one mile dirt road branching off the one-way Cactus Forest Drive. The Tucson Mountain District, called Saguaro West, has the scenic Bajada Loop Drive. Being so close to a larger city like Tucson makes Saguaro a very unique place to visit and allows people that wouldn’t necessarily venture to a more secluded park to get out and explore this desert landscape. Loop of connected trails at Saguaro National Park East, made up Shantz, Pink Hill, Loma Verde, Cholla and Cactus Forest trails in 2012. This is an intensive 9.5 mile loop ride that gives you a fantastic workout while enjoying the great old west scenery. Saguaro National Park consists of two districts:  Saguaro West (Tucson Mountain District) and the much larger Saguaro East (Rincon Mountain District).  The two districts, separated by the City of Tucson, are about 30 miles apart;  travel time between districts is approximately one hour. “A liter an … Saguaro National Park Bike Ride on the east side of Tucson is a real desert beauty! Saguaro National Park is located in southeast Arizona, on the east and west sides of Tucson, Arizona. Saguaro National Park - Tucson Mountain District 27 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743 520.733.5158 Enter the park. Bike this area early morning and near sunrise to get the best views and to have the least amount of interaction with traffic. Saguaro National Park is a beautiful park that sandwiches Tucson, Arizona. Take in the soaring saguaro cacti at this massive national park in Tucson. Park and go in. Photo Tags: Rincon Mountains, mylonite, gneiss, Saguaro National Park. Saguaro National Park (East) Map, courtesy of the National Park Service. Saguaro National Park: Saguaro East Loop road - See 1,003 traveler reviews, 989 candid photos, and great deals for Tucson, AZ, at Tripadvisor. With two districts, there is more than enough opportunity to appreciate the majestic Saguaro Cactus that covers the park grounds. The Rincon Mountain District, called Saguaro East, has the scenic Cactus Forest Drive. Getting Here The closest major airport is Tucson, Arizona From the North. There is several things to do at Saguaro National Park located in Tucson Arizona. Location Map of the east section of Saguaro National Park. The Bajada Loop begins at Hohokam Road, one and a … United States ; Arizona (AZ) ... We did the loop drives in each district and hiked several trails from Mica view (parking was scarce in the East district, but we were there on a holiday weekend). 2. The scenic drive in the East district (Cactus Forest Drive) is on an 8-mile paved, one-way loop and has several view points with interpretive panels. This one-way, 2-hour drive meanders through the dense forest and offers countless places to pull over for photos, short walks, and long hikes. Saguaro National Park, Tucson: Address, Phone Number, Saguaro National Park Reviews: 4.5/5. The scenic Bajada Loop Drive took us to what Brian calls the “Greatest Hits” in Saguaro West, so we were really looking forward to driving the scenic Cactus Forest Drive at Saguaro East. In the East-Rincon Mountain District you can find over 130 miles of hiking trails. For All Patrons:-Rvs do not have parking in the east or west driving loop.There are parking spots at the Visitors Center on the west side. The Saguaro National Park biking is one of the most popular bike rides in the Tucson area. Saguaro National Park charges a fee to enter. The western district is much younger and smaller than its eastern counterpart. Distance: 0.8 mile round trip Time: 30-45 minutes Difficulty: easy Elevation: 50 feet Trailhead: Along the Bajada Loop Drive Best time to visit: anytime – but there’s no shade so make sure to consider this when visiting in the summer heat!Mornings/evenings would be a much better time to hike in the warmer months The Saguaro cactus , native to this region, is predominantly found in the dry southern part Arizona, spilling over into the Mexican state of Sonora and Imperial County, California. Each loop drive led us to the “greatest hits” of Saguaro National Park and took about a half day to complete. The Rincon Mountain District is known as the “east” park, and Tucson Mountain District is “west” park. There's also a generous assortment of visitor facilities and mind-blowing viewpoints. 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