Visit to Saguaro National Park

My wife Anne has wanted to photograph the huge Saguaro Cactus for a while now. Since we love the National Parks we decided to head on over to Tucson and make a visit to Saguaro National Park for the first time. There are no campgrounds in the park for a rig our size but we did find a nice county park nearby called Gilbert Rey Campground in Tucson Mountain park. The park is located just a few miles from Saguaro National Park West. Perfect! The Gilbert Rey Campground was nestled in among the giant Saguaro cactus with nice views of the surrounding hills. It’s a picturesque little place with 30 amp electric, RV dump station and fresh water fill. The price is very reasonable at $20 a night. We were just able to squeeze our 30 ft. fifth wheel trailer in. This is a big reason we kept to a 30 ft size. We can visit gems like this place.

Camped at Gilbert Rey Campground, Tucson Mountain Park

Camped at Gilbert Rey Campground, Tucson Mountain Park

Campsite view at Gilbert Rey Campground, Tuscson Mountain Park

Campsite view at Gilbert Rey Campground, Tuscson Mountain Park

The visitor center at the Saguaro National Park was quite helpful, especially the rangers who gave us the low down on all the park had to offer.

Tucson, Arizona is home to North America’s largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.

I was really amazed at the size of some of the Saguaro, I knew they were big but until you see them up close you have no idea. Some are as big as a 4 story building and weigh in at 7 tons!  Also amazing is they can live up to 200 hundred years.

Ray with his Saguaro friends

Ray with his Saguaro friends

These Saguaro are big!

These Saguaro are big!

On advice of a ranger we did a short hike out too a view-point which looks out on the valley to the east of Tucson. It was a fairly easy hike through some of the most dense Saguaro growth in the park.  Along with the big Saguaro there were many other types of cactus and desert plants to admire.  This area is truly a jungle in the desert.

Cactus love

Cactus Love :)

This Saguaro makes Anne look tiny

This Saguaro makes Anne look tiny

And the view did not disappoint!

Ray and Anne in Saguaro N.P.

Ray and Anne in Saguaro N.P.

The weather for our short 2 day visit was spectacular with highs about 80 degrees and plenty of sunshine. The last evening we headed to a spot we had picked out for Anne to photograph Saguaro highlighted by the sunset. It could not have been more beautiful. A warm, quiet evening with no one else in sight.  Just us and the Saguaro Cactus.  It’s weird but the cactus start to take on a life-like quality due to the human like shapes. I swear they move when we aren’t looking. Smile

Cholla cactus in the setting sun

Cholla cactus in the setting sun

Saguaro National Park Photo

Saguaro National Park Photo

Sadly our time in Saguaro National Park was too short but we had plans to visit Quartzsite next and the forecast is for some rain and cloud so off we go for our next adventure. We mark it down as another place we need to visit again..a growing list.

Video clip of our visit to Saguaro National Park




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8 Comments

  1. Gary and Lisa April 7, 2013
  2. Ray April 7, 2013
  3. Ray February 1, 2013
  4. Allison January 31, 2013
  5. Carl January 27, 2013
    • Ray January 27, 2013
  6. Steve and ML Lowe January 26, 2013
    • Ray January 26, 2013

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