Return to Tucson and Saguaro National Park

Tucson, AZ

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.

An old Saguaro next to a young tourist

The view at it’s base

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.

Looking up the hill to petroglyphs on the rocks

Zooming in on the petroglyphs on the rocks

More petroglyphs

A short hike up the side of the hill gives a close-up view of more petroglyphs.

View from the top of the hill to the parking area (note the Jeep in the center of the photo)

Petroglyph at the top of the hill

Another petroglyph

There are still a number of places we want to see in the Tucson area.  More on some of those locations later . . .

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4 Responses to Return to Tucson and Saguaro National Park

  1. Marsha says:

    I loved that park. That old Saguaro not only made that tourist look young; it made her look tiny!
    Great photo looking up!
    Aren’t the descriptions of the vegetation wonderful. I really enjoyed learning about all the desert beauty.
    Another great place to see petroglyphs. Wonderful weather; wonderful adventure.

  2. Deb Dominick says:

    1. The view looking up from the base of the cactus is intriguing. It kind of looks like the Empire State Building.
    2. The one (male) tourist may be young also, but is he prickly like the cactus?

  3. Stacy says:

    I love your blog and read it often, I find it fascinating to see places that I will probably never get to experience in real life. You show me places and things that I never knew existed. Thanks for taking me on a tour of our country, from my little home in a little town in NC.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Just reading this blog from years ago and I recognise varies photos from our visit yesterday … look out for them on our FB photo album over the next few days!

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