January 22, 2014

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park was one of the reasons we went to Tucson, and we  were fortunate to be staying at a place so very close to the eastern half of the park: Serenity Guest House

The park is actually two districts, one lying about 30 km east, and the other 25 km west of the centre of Tucson. We stayed on the eastern outskirts of the city and viewed the park, more of less, from our deck.

The park was created as a National Monument in 1933, and elevated to National Park status only in 1994. It covers about 37,000 ha, of which 28,000 ha is designated wilderness.

The park conserves fine tracts of the Sonoran Desert, and includes the Tucson Mountains in the west, and the Rincon Mountains in the east. There are almost 250 km of trails in the park, with varying degrees of difficulty. Snakes and spiders are common, as are other creatures, though apart from seeing rabbits and one bob cat, and hearing coyotes, we didn't see much of anything on our walks.

In addition to the amazing saguaro cactus, which is native to the region, there are other cactus, including barrel, cholla and prickly pear.

All photos by Jim Murray. 
Copyright 2014.

Saguaro National Park is a wonderful place, and it is a great place to walk. There is a calm and beauty here that is quite magnificent. This is harsh and difficult place, yet life abounds, and in the gentle breeze, amidst the towering saguaro, the silence is a symphony.

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