On Friday we returned to Lazydays RV Park in Tucson to have some work done on the motorhome. This is the same park where we attended a Discovery Rally a couple of weeks ago, so we are familiar with the area.
This morning we headed northweast to Saguaro National Park. We made a stop at the visitor’s center during the rally but wanted to return to take what is called the Loop Road through the park.
Saguaro is the only national park that is divided by a city. The park has an east and a west location on either side of Tucson. When we were here previously, we visited the eastern part of the park. It is relatively small without a great deal to see, but there are some great examples of cactus.
Some of the Saguaro are huge. The Saguaro grows very slowly, perhaps an inch a year, so the cactus (not the person) below must be very old. The largest plants, with more than 5 arms, are estimated to be 200 years old. An average old Saguaro would have 5 arms and be about 30 feet tall.
Today we visited the west unit of the park. It is very similar to the east unit, with dirt roads and hundreds of Saguaro.
We stopped and took the Valley View Trail out about a mile into the desert to a nice vista of the Sonora Desert. The trail was well-marked with descriptions of the desert vegetation. Saguaro were plentiful, with some even growing over the trail.
Our next stop was a picnic area called Signal Hill. Signal Hill Picnic Area is just a short drive off the loop road and offers visitors the chance to view hundreds of ancient petroglyphs. Petroglyphs are carvings into rocks, similar to pictographs, which are paintings on rocks.
A short hike up the side of the hill gives a close-up view of more petroglyphs.
There are still a number of places we want to see in the Tucson area. More on some of those locations later . . .