October 26, 2014 – Today I had the opportunity to drive around southern Arizona visiting a couple of our national parks. On this leg of the trip, I visited Saguaro National Park (the ag in Saguaro are silent, so su-ar-o). Saguaro is a national park locate to the east and west of Tuscon. There are two distinct districts – the Tuscon Mountain District TMD) to the west and the Rincon Mountain District (RMD) to the east. I started in the TMD to the west, thinking it looked like there were more opportunities for hiking in the east.
The TMD is located about 15 miles west of the interstate, a nice quiet drive. I went for a couple short hikes, enjoying the desert views and the various species of cacti – highlighted of course by the 20 feet tall Saguaros. The Saguaro cactus is found only in a small region, and this park was set aside to protect them. The west part of the park was beautiful and quite peaceful. Aside from the couple hikes, I enjoyed the park video and the interpretive trail.
I saved most of my time for the eastern RMD portion of the park, as it looked online like there as more opportunity to hike. There may have been, but I think I may have been better off hiking more to the west. The RMD is located in the eastern edges of Tuscon, and you see houses, businesses, and power lines throughout. That turned me off a bit, and coupled with my growing hunger, I cut my trip short after a nice drive and a stop at the visitor center for my passport stamp.
I look forward to a return trip to the western part of the park.