Crested Saguaros and Airplanes on the Trail

Tucson, AZ

Fuel prices continue to fall around the country, with Tucson having some of the lowest.  We spotted this station along E. Irvington Road.

$1.39 a gallon ! ! !

During our stays in Tucson we have hiked many trails in nearby Tucson Mountain Park.  Today we completed a nice hike on the Flight Path Loop in the Robles Pass section of the park.  This area is between Ajo Highway and E. Irvington and is the newest section of the park.  We parked at the end of Irvington Place Road where we entered the park on the Camaro Loop Trail.  After a short hike north on that trail we turned on to the Boulder Belt Trail, which ends at the Flight Path Loop.

This park is filled with beautiful Saguaros and the nimble hiker is constantly on the lookout for the elusive Crested Saguaro.  It is estimated that only one in ten thousand Saguaros develops the “crest” so the chances of finding one are slim.  But the sharp eyes of the nimble hiker spotted one along the Boulder Belt Trail.

OK, we found our crested saguaro for the day right?  But a mile further up the trail, as we made our way along the Flight Path Loop, the sharp eyes of the nimble hiker spotted another one right next to the trail!

Well, we defied the odds with the second one.  But as we hiked around the north side of the loop, the nimble hiker spotted a third crested saguaro!

A “hat trick” in the world of crested saguaro spotting for sure!  Three within two miles!

The Flight Path Loop is appropriately named due to its location right under the landing path for Tucson International Airport.  So we spent some time sitting along the trail enjoying a snack while watching the planes fly overhead.

Three crested saguaro, numerous airplanes, and five more miles to add to our hiking log…another great day!


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42 Responses to Crested Saguaros and Airplanes on the Trail

  1. How lucky can you be? Three crestates in under five miles? You must be so ecstatic!

    • placestheygo says:

      When I found the first, I figured that would be it. Then #2 came along and John said I was defying the odds and there probably wouldn’t be any more. But my eyes never stop and low and behold #3!! The best part was that they were right next to the trail. We didn’t even have to bushwhack to them.

  2. paul weaver says:

    Spotted diesel fuel for $1.41/gallon here in the Houston area. Didn’t need fuel at the time but I noted location for the next fill-up 🙂

  3. Love those crested saguaros! I didn’t realize they were so unusual. And love the diesel prices!

  4. Laurel says:

    Wow, only one in every ten thousand — and you’ve probably seen a hundred of them! I still remember the first crested saguaro I saw many years ago at the Desert Museum (or at least it was the first one I was aware of). They really are beautiful and each one is so unique — I always enjoy seeing your photos of them. The low gas prices are making us think about spending June the Canadian Rockies before we head to Lopez!

    • placestheygo says:

      I am beginning to think one in a thousand by the way I am able to find them. But it makes every hike an extra adventure:)

      You definitely need to visit the Canadian Rockies but June might be a little early depending on the snow depth. Jasper and Banff are quite high and the trails may still be covered. Our trip through Glacier/Jasper/Banff is my favorite. I look forward to doing it again one soon.

      • Laurel says:

        After doing a bit of research I came to the same conclusion, that June would probably be too early for the Canadian Rockies. Oh well — another year, when we’re not going to the San Juan Islands! So many wonderful places….we have lots of years of adventures planned! We’ll definitely be referring to your blog when we make our trip to that area. Maybe we could even meet up there! 😉

  5. Lenore says:

    Cheap gas sure is a blessing on the road!

  6. Nancy says:

    Another great day for sure! I can’t believe how many crested saguaros you have seen! You are something else!!

  7. Larry says:

    I thought our gas prices were low at $1.59, but these look even better. pretty shots of the cacti.

  8. Ingrid says:

    Hope you bought a lottery ticket that day!!! We’re loving these lower gas prices. Our trip to TX and back has cost us almost 1/2 of last year’s sojourn.

  9. Jim and Barb says:

    We are still on our quest for our first crested saguaro. I am not counting the one we saw from the distance while 4 wheeling as we have to stop and get pictures. We may have to hunt that one down again!

  10. Gay says:

    Another great hike in the books and 3 crested saguaros. Have you kept a count of how many you have seen? Looking forward to lacing up the boots and hitting the trail with you both…real soon!

    • placestheygo says:

      I was just thinking yesterday, Gay, that I wish I had kept count. We do have all the photos from the beginning so counting them might be a good rainy day activity! Looking forward to hitting the trail together, also:)

  11. Whoa, Crested bonanza for sure!

  12. Jeff says:

    I know saguaros do not grow fast, do you have an idea of the age those giants are? Beautiful pictures of another great hike.

    • placestheygo says:

      I’m not sure exactly how old those crested saguaro are, Jeff, but I do know that they don’t even begin to get arms until 50 – 65 years old. So with their slow growth and the size of the arms, they have to be 150 years old. We’ve checked out a few crested saguaro we saw a couple years ago. You can see how the crest has increased but only by a little with very close inspection of the photos. If only they could talk, what we might learn:)

  13. montanaclarks says:

    WOW–you have the “eye” Pam!! I am loving the gas prices!

  14. Sherry says:

    Those gas prices are amazing. It’s 30 cents a gallon higher where we are in Florida. Wonder how AZ gets such great prices? I think they better revise their estimate of how many crested saguaros there are given the number the Nimble Hiker has found.

  15. You sure can find them!
    I won’t even tell you what gas prices are in southern CA, but anything under $3/gallon here seems cheap 🙂

  16. pmbweaver says:

    Oh good grief…a hat trick…what next…a home run? lol I want to have the eyes of the nimble hiker when I grow up.

    Anther great hike for sure!

  17. Holly Ritger says:

    You have set the bar pretty high! Six in one day….

    • placestheygo says:

      The hike we did that I found six supposedly has 42 on the entire one trail (some bushwhacking involved). I have the map ready to download so we will be heading back one day for a long crested saguaro hunt!! John can hardly wait…NOT!

  18. geogypsy2u says:

    $1.82 for diesel in Hurricane, UT today. I’m feeling guilty not taking advantage of it. You are the crested saguaro Queen!

  19. The Guy says:

    I visited Tuscon a few years ago and remember doing a wonderful mountain hike. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of it but it certainly wasn’t a flight loop path. This one however does look fabulous and I love all the cacti (is that plural for cactus?). If I visit Tuscon again I’ll definitely look out for this place.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks for joining us:) There are several wonderful mountain hikes so it is hard to say, but the closest and least difficult is Wasson Peak. That trail is in the Saguaro National Park. We’ve done three times and the views at the top are great. Yes, cacti would get lots of them cactus:)

  20. Erin says:

    The crested saguaro must be a rare sighting for everyone but you 😉

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