Blogs from Saguaro National Park, Arizona, United States, North America


From Las Vegas, we drove south to Saguaro National Park, outside Tucson. “This is where the icon of arid America holds court. The country’s largest cacti, the saguaro (pronounced sa-WAH-ro), grow slowly, achieving arms and full stature at around 125 years. Some extend to 50 feet tall” (Moon, USA National Parks - The Complete Guide to all 59 Parks, Becky Lomax, 2018, p. 290). The saguaros take about 15 years to grow only a foot in height, 50 years to grow 7 feet, and “almost a century before they begin to take on their many-armed appearance” (Lonely Planet, USA, 2018, p. 869). Some of the arms grow at strange angles, and many had blooming flowers growing at the tips of the arms. The flowers eventually turn into red fruit that Native Americans use for food (if ... read more
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park (prickly pear cactus)
Saguaro National Park (prickly pear cactus)

Saguaro National Park unerschrocken hab ich mich diesen gefährlichen Kreaturen genähert - und sie haben mich rücksichtslos attakiert und von Kopf bis Fuss zerstochen... Macht euch gefasst auf: 50 Fotos von Kakteen! Einzeln und in Gruppen Lebensgross - nein: Überlebensgross und Hautnah! in jeder Lebenslage: von Morgens bis Abends nur hier, in diesem Blog und fast ganz ohne Werbung! (kann auch Spuren von tierischen Photos beinhalten)... read more

Although the temperature was predicted to be in the triple digits today, I still wanted to explore a national park that's only about a 40 minute drive from our new home. We just decided to get an early start so we could hike before the temperatures rose too high. Saguaro National Park (pronounced Saw-WAH-row) is named for the tall cactus that can grow from 30 to 50 feet high. It's only found in the Sonoran Desert, which encompasses the bottom quarter of Arizona, the western half of Sonora, Mexico and a bit of California. It's the tallest cacti in the United States and is protected by the National Park. Saguaro National Park is actually broken into two sections, separated by the city of Tucson. Today we decided to check out the Tucson Mountain District, which is ... read more
Rod on the trail
Beauty in Decay
Flowers on the Saguaro

Photos from this day in Saguara The photos from this day are all from the Saguaro National Park West. We met at our place after breakfast, then, following Jakub's suggestion, Barb & I followed the Edge to the park. By this time we knew that if we ever got behind the wrong black Edge we'd probably follow it anywhere. The first photo in the gallery was taken at 10:41am so the morning shoot certainly spilled over into the harsh afternoon light. All of the photos were taken somewhere along the Hohokam loop road (I believe). After a couple hours of roaming the trails and shooting what stopped us, Jakub had a suggestion for the afternoon. He wanted to go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum to try out his new 300mm lens on the birds there. Yvonne ... read more
Laughing Barrel

Anne and I traveled to Arizona on the 1st of November, 2011, returning on the 8th. We visited Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near Ajo, Saguaro National Park in and around Tucson, Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Meteor Crater near Winslow, and Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstition Mts near Phoenix. We flew into Phoenix and drove to Ajo for our first two nights then to Tucson for the next two then to Holbrook where we stayed in a WigWam one night and planned another there at a chain motel. However that second day in Holbrook had snow and freezing temps forcast so we toured Meteor Crater in the AM and then drove on back to Phoenix where we spent the last two nights of the trip. On this entry I'll add a bunch ... read more
Organ Pipe NM - On top of the Ajo Mts.
The arches
Organ Pipe Cactus

My family and I, went hiking at Saguaro National Park. We have hiked the Saguaro Park before, but each time, a different trail. The trails are not too long, the longest we have hiked (my daughter and I,) has been 8 miles round trip. The one thing that makes this park of particular interest, it the panorama. With the Rincon mountains and the town of Tucson in the surrounding distance, the views are breath-taking. The various types of cacti and the protected giant Saguaro provide for curiosity. We hiked the Lorma Verde trail for a total of 3 miles round trip. It was midday when we started, so the heat did not show us mercy. Mark and Desire, had assured me they had enough water in their hiking bags, turns out enough was one 16.9 Fl ... read more
With my daughter
Giant Saguaro10
Prickly Pear cactus

This morning we drove to a restaurant called the Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We didn't know the chain had moved this far west! Then we followed the same dirt road into the park that we had found on the map yesterday. We were early enough to see lots of wide open, beautiful blooms! We looked for cactus "ribs" and "boots". No luck on the boots, but we found plenty of ribs. The Saguaro actually has a woody support about three inches in from the skin. When they die, the woody parts are long and thin and look like ribs. The boot is so interesting. When the woodpeckers make a hole inside the cactus, it goes in and then down. The cactus adds a woody layer as a type of "scar" tissue to cover over the damage ... read more
Nursery school for Saguaro

After a leisurely breakfast, we drove over to Saguaro National Park East. We went into the visitor's center and looked at the exhibits and got the guide. There was a one-way drive with informational stops. We learned that each saguaro will produce over a million poppy-seed sized seeds in its 150 year lifespan and if only ONE grows into a new plant, the naturalists consider it successful. In order to survive, it has to be eaten by a bird, deposited under a tree in its head-start fertilizer, and grow under the "nurse" plant. The "nurse" plant is usually a palo verde tree or a mesquite tree that shades the baby from the hot sun, from frost, and protects it from getting stepped on or eaten. Who knew? The other cacti were in bloom, too - several ... read more
Saguaro in Bloom
Saguaro and Nurse Plant

*pronounced something like "suh-wah-ro" There has been TONS of precipitation in Tucson and the surrounding areas this winter. I mean A LOT! Granted, we've only been here for 3 winters so far, but we've never seen this much rain and snow this time of year. When a friend came to visit, it gave me the perfect excuse (like I needed one!) to go to Saguaro National Park--east side here in Tucson, again. The pictures say the rest...... read more
Ocotillo flowers
inner veins of a decaying Prickly Pear cactus

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