Saguaro National Park and Desert Museum

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by JaneTamlyn on April 27, 2005

The Saguaro West park is a stunning expanse of protected saguaro cactus and other native flora outside of Tucson. It covers over 91,000 acres of land, and can be traversed by foot on marked trails, or by bike or car on the many "loop" roads (some paved, some dirt) throughout the park. Walking trails are dotted with man-made shelters of stone (many with roofs of saguaro "ribs") with tables and grills for picnics or just a rest out of the sun.

The museum building includes a small but interesting display of desert wildlife, including a javelina, rattlesnake, and several birds. The gift shop includes a number of unique items, including cookbooks using local ingredients like prickly pears and mesquite "meal" (which can also be purchased) and CDs of great "native" music that are the perfect accompaniment to those long drives through the Arizona mountains. The 15-minute slide presentation includes moving descriptions by Native Americans of the cultural and spiritual significance of the Saguaro and a dramatic ending that everyone will enjoy.

The website for the park is Enjoy (but watch out for rattlesnakes!).

Saguaro National Park
3693 South Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, Arizona, 85730
(520) 733-5158

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