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Saguaro National Park is a gorgeous piece of nature filled with rolling hills covered with the nations largest cactus, the giant saguaro! Nestled in the heart of Tucson, Arizona, this park is totally worth the visit.
I have been coming to Saguaro National Park for years.
My grandparents lived in Tucson for a while, so we visited them once.
I drove through by myself one time on the road trip of a lifetime when I was 30.
And now my sister lives in Tucson, and we go every time I'm there for a visit.
Related Story: Road Trip from San Diego to Tucson
One of the best non-food smells in the world is the desert. Especially early in the morning when the air is slightly cooler.
Every time I'm in Tucson, a visit to Saguaro National Park is a MUST.
Saguaro National Park
This is one of my favorite national parks. Obviously, the park is named for the Saguaro cactus, which are the nation's largest cactus. These cactus are really only found in a small part of the Southwestern US.
You can drive, hike, bike or ride horses on the trails in the park.
If you choose to drive the loops, there is one 8 mile and one 6 mile loop (there's an east and west side of the park), with many pull outs for hiking if you choose. They are easy drives, you don't need a 4 wheel drive.
You can bike the same 8 mile loop, and let me tell you, there are a ton of bikers out there on that loop! Be careful if you are driving.
Mountain biking is also allowed on certain trails in the park. I'm not a mountain biker myself, but I believe it's pretty popular.
And of course the hiking.
This is my favorite part.
When my nieces and nephews were younger, we used to walk the shorter easier trails, which there are plenty of.
When it's just me, my sister, and sometimes my mom, we choose slightly more difficult trails. Typically ones that go up for a nice view.
Who doesn't love a nice view of the desert early in the morning?
Oh yeah, Tucson gets hot.
And I mean hot guys. During the winter months day hiking is perfectly fine.
But during the summer I totally recommend going in the morning. It's gets up in the 100's during the day, which is perfect if you'd like to experience heat stroke.
I don't recommend that.
And no matter when you go, always bring water. Even if it's a short hike.
And always bring more than you think you'll need. I'm always surprised at how thirsty I get, even when it's not super hot out.
Why Should I Visit Saguaro National Park?
Because it's beautiful guys.
There are many, many hiking trails. There are so many places with picnic tables for a nice picnic lunch (or breakfast).
One time, I saw a couple coyotes. We just stopped and stared at each other for a moment, and they moved on.
There are snakes. I mean, it's the Southwest. Of course there's snakes. And scorpions.
There are plenty of opportunities to see cool wildlife, especially if you go in the morning. You're almost certain to see lizards, quite possibly roadrunners, and maybe even a Gila monster or two!
The bathrooms are plentiful and kept very clean in my experience.
While it can get busy in peak season, there are still plenty of trails that are wide open and peaceful. I've been all different times of the year, and have always enjoyed a quiet serene hike.
You know, the kind of serene that has you examining your life choices.
So if you're ever in Tucson, check out Saguaro National Park. It's awesome.
And for my fellow San Diegans, the road trip from San Diego to Tucson is beautiful. Check out how I do it here.