Speaking of the visitor center, both visitor centers were closed when I visited so I was not able to compare those. On the other hand, the West district only has 43 miles of hiking trails. Take a left (North) and go 400 yards or so and the park entrance is on the right. Phone (520) 733-5153 . The TMD (west) boasts large stands of saguaro cactus creating a breathtaking saguaro forest, whereas the RMD (east) hosts a magnificent sky island, where you can find bears, cougars and … I know this is odd, but there are two Saguaro National Parks - East & West. Traveling from the city of Tucson - Saguaro National Park … I heard before that it was desert setting, so my expectations weren’t really high. Not only is it around 6,000 feet in elevation, but the panorama views from the trail are spectacular. Most of the campgrounds are above 6,000 feet so they offer different vegetation and cooler climates to campers and hikers (all camp sites are not accessible by vehicles and must be hiked to). The east has a nice loop drive. Thanks Dan how did u get to the west side of the park off of I 10 again Thank You Both of these parks are unique and beautiful places to visit. The Bajada Loop drive is a five mile loop unpaved road that leads to some great trails with views of the valley. It doesn’t take very long to walk it but if you are traveling with small kids, elderly or a pet, this may be one of the few area trails that you can traverse during the visit to this National Park. Cactus Forest Drive (east) The east district has an 8-mile paved loop that gives you a chance to see … Pete, Your email address will not be published. Saguaro National Park is home to the iconic Saguaro cactus and one of the best parks in Arizona. Enjoy your hiking! These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west … Saguaro is different, this desert is alive with so much going on around it. Many washes along trails hold potential flash flood dangers when rain comes, so you’ll want to be prepared in case rains come.Enter your text here... On the second day, after a great stay at a local hotel, my family visited the East Side. Average annual precipitation is … In 1933 Saguaro National Monument was created. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though as you can quickly get to some nice restaurants like Saguaro Corners and enjoy a nice juicy burger or delicious Mac-n-cheese. Saguaro National Park is an American national park in Pima County, southeastern Arizona.The 92,000-acre (37,000 ha) park consists of two separate areas—the Tucson Mountain District (TMD) about 10 miles (16 km) west of the city of Tucson and the Rincon Mountain District (RMD) about 10 miles (16 km) east … Saguaro National Park is comprised of two parks, located east and west of Tucson: Tucson Mountain District ( Saguaro West) 2700 N. Kinney Road, Tucson AZ Take the scenic route via W Gates Pass Road through Tucson Mountain Park… The East also has a much higher elevation point with Mica Mt at 8,666ft compared to the West’s … Answer 1 of 10: We will take a day trip in November from Phoenix to Tucson. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. The Saguaro National Park East District acreage is 66,947 and Saguaro National Park West District is 24,498 acres. This allows the East to have a much more diverse range of vegetation and wildlife at higher altitudes. The East district feels a little bit more contained located just on the outskirts of the city suburbs not far from neighborhoods. I am usually not a big fan of the desert since there is very little shade to be had and playing around in sand makes me thirsty. I just noticed that there are two of them, a West and an East one. Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections called districts. This day in the picture above started with sunshine and large clouds, however, it wasn’t long before darker clouds covered the area and rain started pouring down. It’s also a very popular biking route, so watch out for cyclists although they do have a designated biking lane. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Fees: Entrance fee paid for admission to Saguaro National Park is good for seven days and includes both the Tucson Mountain District (West) and the Rincon Mountain District (East) Weekly Pass - $25.00/vehicle Admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers. The scenic drive in the East district (Cactus Forest Drive) is on an 8-mile paved, one-way loop and has several view points with interpretive panels. This trail is not for the faint …. About 2 miles down the road from the Desert Museum is the Saguaro National Park Visitors Center. Japan’s National Parks – Focused on Increasing …, The Narrow Path of Angels Landing in Zion NP, Japan’s National Parks – Focused on Increasing Overseas Visitors. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Saguaro National Park consists of two districts:  Saguaro West (Tucson Mountain District) and the much larger Saguaro East (Rincon Mountain District).  The two districts, separated by … In between is Metropolitan Tucson. The Visitors' Center at Saguaro National Park West. Entrance fee paid for admission to Saguaro National Park is good for seven days and includes both the Tucson Mountain District (West) and the Rincon Mountain District (East) Saguaro National Park … Meanwhile, there is no camping offered in the West district. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. So if you are into the picnic seen, then you might want to look into the West for more options. Interestingly, the cactuses are older in the East District. Saguaro National Park straddles the city of Tucson, Arizona and is divided into two distinct districts: If you are traveling to both of these park districts, it will take you about one hour to get between the two. Find his full bio here. So you can find vegetation like oak, pine, and mixed conifer forest and even encounter wildlife like coati, black bears, and spotted owls in the East. Take a right (West) onto Escalante Road and go about 2 miles to dead end into Old Spanish Trail on the boundary with Saguaro National Park East. The weather during December can change relatively quickly. A weekly pass for a vehicle will cost you $25 although you can always buy an annual pass for Saguaro National Park ($45) or for all national parks ($80). The West area actually has more picnic areas (five) versus the East (two). Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. For directions to the Red Hills Visitor Center in Saguaro West go to my Maps and Directions page. I you have only one day to visit sights in Tucson, I would recommend the west unit of Saguaro NP because you could also go to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a world-renowned zoo with native … Saguaro National Park protects 91,400 acres of Arizona desert. Because so much rain poured the previous day, the weather was cold enough to snow on the upper elevation of the Rincon Mountains. For folks who may not get the opportunity to visit either park, and want to see a huge amount of Saguaro Cactus plants, just take a scenic drive towards Yuma, Arizona and they’ll be growing in the wild off Interstate 8. Meanwhile, the West district feels much more removed from civilization and tucked into true wilderness. Established in 1994, there was an effort earlier in the century to preserve the location as a monument because ranchers and settlers in the area were decimating the Saguaro cactus through road building and cattle trampling the seeds, preventing their replenishment. Fifteen miles west of the city of Tucson, the Tucson Mountain region of Saguaro National Park is smaller, lower and biologically younger than the east section but the saguaros are just as large and extensive. The biotic communities (starting from the lowest elevation) … Also note that if you get admission into one park, it will be good for the other as well. Saguaro National Park East is nearly three times as big as the West district. What's … The Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park ranges from an elevation of 2,670 ft to 8,666 ft and contains 6 biotic communities. I found it very helpful so don’t forget to grab one of those at the visitor center. Saguaro National Park, Tucson: Address, Phone Number, Saguaro National Park Reviews: 4.5/5. You can also see some of the neighborhoods nearby. I think that most visitors should try to get out to both parks and check them out if they can. When it comes to camping, the East district has six backcountry sites (permits needed). The East district is going to offer you much more extensive hiking with 128 miles of hiking trails, including multiple back country opportunities. The Saguaro National Park East District acreage is 66,947 and Saguaro National Park West District is 24,498 acres. Tucson Mountain Park's (Gilbert Ray Campground) is the closest public camping to Saguaro National Park - Western District. The Desert Discovery Trail is a fun walkable and paved trail. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. This loop drive is shorter than the one above and feels less developed. … However, the hills and trails are fun to explore. East or West Saguaro National Park – Which Should You Visit? They have new recommendations and offer a more mobile-friendly view of the trails. It has minimal changes in elevation and would be a great hike to view a sunset (the trail also has tons of interpretive panels and is well-maintained). Please resist the urge to through yourself in their welcoming, outstretched arms. Saugaro National Park encompasses two separate sections: the Saguaro National Park West (Tucson Mountain District) and Saguaro National Park East (Rincon Mountain District). The road is a little windy at times but easy to follow and fun to make your way through. The West District is also close to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Old Tucson — two very popular attractions for visitors. If you’d like to do a quick hike on a paved way you can look into the Desert Ecology Trail. The drive in Saguaro National Park East is a paved eight mile one way loop and the drive in Saguaro National Park West has several routes. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. If you only have time to visit one, go West. What's … One of the biggest choices was which side to see first. In the West … We traveled here the first day. The East also has a much higher elevation point with Mica Mt at 8,666ft compared to the West’s highest point: Wasson Peak at 4,687ft. The Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park ranges from an elevation of 2,180 ft to 4,687 ft and contains 2 biotic communities, desert scrub, and desert grassland. I just noticed that there are two of them, a West and an East one. « More states going on lockdown [3/22 Update]. Here, you will find some large boulders to climb up on that offer exceptional views for a sunset. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. At the.75 mile mark, you are up on the ridge and are able to see south, west, and north at multiple other mountain ranges and the Tucson Basin. East Section of Saguaro National Park (Rincon Mountains) Seventeen miles east of the center of Tucson, the Rincon Mountains section of Saguaro National Park is the larger and more remote of the two … I would suggest that you pick up a hiking pamphlet which will break down many of the hikes for you in the park. The Saguaro … Look for signs to Saguaro National Park. A crested saguaro (at mile 2.5) is a unique view, … The biggest difference between the east and the west portions of the park are the different mountain districts (Tucson and Rincon). NPS Photo Hiking in Saguaro National Park west . I do not recall seeing many if any lookout points with interpretive panels but there are some fantastic views. Personally, I prefer the West park simply because I enjoyed the high concentration of cactus and felt like it was more remote. Together, the area covers 91,716 acres with 165 miles of trails. Take in the soaring saguaro cacti at this massive national park in Tucson. Saguaro is the only national park that has a city right in between it. This is great because as much as I love the desert, desert scenery only does so much for me after a while and it’s great to have the option to escape to higher altitudes where pine trees abound. Having just traveled to Saguaro National Park for the first time in 2018, I had no idea the park was split in 2 (East and West). United States ; Arizona (AZ) ... (parking was scarce in the East district, but we were there on a holiday weekend). The Rincon Mountain District is located to the East of Tucson Arizona and the Tucson Mountain District is located to the West of Tucson AZ. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. The picnic area located in the East district at Mica View has a cover on it so it is possible to picnic in the shade at some of these spots. The Tucson Mountain District (WEST) Visitor Center is located at 2700 N. Kinney Rd and is approximately 15 miles west of the center of the … Traveling between the two sections of the park … Both of these parks will offer you plenty of opportunities to admire the amazing Saguaro cactus. It’s divided into two sections: the East District (Rincon Mountain District) and the West District (Tucson Mountain District). Getting to Saguaro National Park. I enjoyed the drive into the West district more, as I found it much more scenic and more remote. While I think there is quite a bit of land there, it's mainly mountainous. Your email address will not be published. We only had a day and a half. It should take you at least 35 minutes to loop around but you want to give yourself more time than that to stop at some of the overlooks and check out the interpretive panels. The Loop Drive of the West District (Bajada Loop Drive) is on a five-mile graded dirt road and is mostly one-way. Most of the parks picnic areas (which have waterless toilets, … It is located about 4 miles south of Saguaro's Red Hills Visitor Center . UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. The visitor center at Saguaro East … It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Saguaro National Park Saguaro National Park has two districts. Both have a lot to offer but also have some unique pros and cons. Both the East and West district both have scenic loop drives but there are some big differences. There are little hills on the road and it's not that wide so make sure to lookout for people walking or riding their bikes. I also felt like the higher concentration of cactuses in this park is very noticeable on the scenic loop. Since becoming a national park, this unique location provides a unique perspective into desert landscape, with mountains at its east called the Rincon. https://www.nationalparksjourney.com/east-west-saguaro-national-park Welcome to Saguaro National Park Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation's largest cacti. I’m not sure why that is but if you know drop a note in the comments below. Saguaro … Overall, both scenic drives are worth doing because they each have a little bit of something different to offer. Visitor Center (Saguaro East) Rincon Mountain District . It’s not as clear-cut as to where to go since there are multiple roads, but just follow Hohokam Road to Golden Gate Road and then turn left and you’ll be fine. The visitor center at Saguaro East is open all year from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday except Christmas. Below are images of the new RMD (East) and TMD (West) hiking brochures. I guess it wouldn't be a bad place to live, right up against a national park. Answer 1 of 10: We will take a day trip in November from Phoenix to Tucson. Organized groups are not eligible for the vehicle permit. But if you really want to get up close and personal with these, I would go to the West district because the West district has a higher concentration of Saguaro cactus. Both sides of the park have a loop drive but the West (Tucson) side has unpaved roads that lead around it. The cactus is known for its towering arms. Read more about hiking here. Hike, bike, walk, or drive through the forest of saguaros. Required fields are marked *. In this article, I will give you a detailed comparison between the two Saguaro National Park districts and highlight some of the strong points of each park. Since there are no pay fee booths in the east, you’ll have to go to the Red Hills Visitor Center to pick up your pass. We went in December, so it wasn’t that warm (I actually needed a sweater). Front Page of TMD-Saguaro West Hiking Map . The loop will likely take you around 25 minutes but again you will want to allocate more time if you’d like to stop and check out the views. I am referring to the area near Signal Hill which has some great picnic spots and petroglyphs. If you've ever considered climbing Angels Landing in Zion National Park, you'll want to see this. The park is divided into two districts: one that lies about 20 miles east of the center of Tucson, and another that lies about 15 miles west of … The Javelina Rocks area is toward the end of Cactus Forest Drive and it’s a great spot to stop at and explore. A great and easy hike to consider is the Overlook Trail which is only about .8 miles there and back. On the way we want to visit the Saguaro National Park. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. 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