By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/23/2020
Topics/Keywords: #Arizona #SaguaroNationalPark #Travel #Tucson Page Views: 845
All about my visits to Tucson's very own national park.

Saguaro National Park consists of two disconnected sections in Pima County, staddling Tucson. The 92,000-acre park consists of the Tucson Mountain District (TMD) about 10 miles west of the city and the Rincon Mountain District (RMD) about 10 miles east. Here you'll find preserved Sonoran Desert landscapes, fauna, and flora, including so many of the giant saguaro cactus, Arizona's state tree, that it qualifies as a forest.

The volcanic rocks on the surface of the TMD differ greatly from the surface rocks of the RMD; over the past 30 million years, crustal stretching displaced rocks from beneath the Tucson Mountains of the TMD to form the Rincon Mountains of the RMD. Uplifted, domed, and eroded, the Rincon Mountains are significantly higher and wetter than the Tucson Mountains. The Rincons, as one of the Madrean Sky Islands between the southern Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Madre Oriental in Mexico, support high biodiversity and are home to many plants and animals that do not live in the TMD.

Earlier residents of and visitors to the lands in and around the park before its creation included the Hohokam, Sobaipuri, Tohono O'odham, Apaches, Spanish explorers, missionaries, miners, homesteaders, and ranchers. In 1933, President Herbert Hoover, using the power of the Antiquities Act, established the original park, Saguaro National Monument, in the Rincon Mountains. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy added the Tucson Mountain District to the monument and renamed the original tract the Rincon Mountain District. Congress combined the TMD and the RMD to form the national park in 1994.

Popular activities in the park include hiking on its 165 miles of trails and sightseeing along paved roads near its two visitor centers. Both districts allow bicycling and horseback riding on selected roads and trails. The RMD offers limited wilderness camping, but there is no overnight camping in the TMD.

First Visit to Saguaro National Park

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 2/17/2018
Topics: #Arizona #DesertDiscoveryNatureTrail #SaguaroNationalPark #Travel #Tucson #ValleyViewOverlookTrail Page Views: 801
All the photos from today's hike amongst examples of Arizona's state tree.

Keith's Valentine's Day present to me was supposed to be a camping trip at Tonopah Hot Spring. However, the weather this week has been rainy and overcast, not particularly inspiring for an overnighter. So, instead, we decided to see something neither of us had been to before: Saguaro National Park.

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