What Is It?
Behold the giant saguaros and their skyward-reaching arms near Tucson, Arizona, when visiting Saguaro National Park.
Take It In
Saguaros normally grow 40 feet high, and can branch out many arms. Great hikes in the national park include the Freeman Homestead Trail, a 1-mile path to an old homestead. If staying in the car, consider Cactus Forest Drive, an 8-mile one-way loop.
In the 1920s, members of the Natural History Society of the University of Arizona sought to create a preserve for the iconic saguaro. Eventually, a Tucson newspaper thought a local national monument would be good for business and joined the cause. Saguaro became a national monument in 1933.
Saguaro went from national monument to national park status in 1994 after congressional approval. At the same time, the 15,360- acre Tuscon Mountain Park was added to Saguaro, bringing the full park to more than 90,000 acres.
Much like the United States, Saguaro National Park holds a census every 10 years. In the citizen science effort staff and volunteers document saguaros to track plant life. The 2010 census estimated the park held about 1.9 million saguaros.
Entrance to Saguaro National Park is $25 per vehicle for a weekly pass, $20 for a motorcycle and $15 per person on foot. For more information, and for updated local health guidelines, call 520-733-5153 or visit