Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is named after the Saguaro cactus that grows only in the Sonoran Desert. The park was actually established to protect these mighty Saguaro Cactus, and the park is home to an estimated 180 million Saguaro cacti. The park is located in southern Arizona and is split into two distinct districts, the 16,476 acre Rincon Mountain District and the 25,391 acre Tucson Mountain District.

Although the Sonoran Desert is foreboding there are several animals that call the park home. In fact, many of the animals who call the park home are unique and unusual. These animals include roadrunners, gila monsters, kangaroo-rats, rattlesnakes, and javelinas. Javelinas are small pig-like creatures that call Saguaro and the Sonoran desert home. For a greater chance of seeing a javelina check out the Javelina Rocks along the Cactus Forest Drive.

Where to Stay When Visiting Saguaro

Tuscon, AZ is the best place to stay when visiting Saguaro National Park. It is right between the two halves of the park, and has numerous lodging options including hotels, resorts and Airbnb rentals.

Hotel McCoy720 W Silverlake Road, Tucson, Arizona 85713: This trendy, retro 60 inspired hotel is just 3 miles from the Tucson Museum of Art and only 19 minutes and 15 miles from Saguaro National Park. This hotel offers an outdoor pool and free daily breakfast perfect for fueling up before heading to the park.

Candlewood Suites Tucson1995 W River Road, Tucson, Arizona 85704: If you’re on a budget this is a great option for a relaxed hotel that features all suites. It offers a gym, BBQ area, and an outdoor pool. At only 16 minutes and 8.4 miles from the park you really can’t go wrong at the Candlewood Suites.

VISIT Saguaro National Park:

Park Details

Saguaro National Park was established on March 1, 1933, and has a total area of 91,716 acres (143 square miles, or 371 square kilometers).

Address 3693 S Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ, 85730
Phone520 733-5153
HoursOpen to vehicles from sunrise to sunset daily. You can walk or bike into the park 24 hours a day.
Entrance Fee$25per vehicle, valid for 7 days
Learn MoreOfficial Website

When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation

Saguaro National Park is the 71st most visited park in the country.

We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Saguaro National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Saguaro National Park is.

Our data shows the best months to visit Saguaro National Park are April, October, May & June.

Park Visits186,505177,726201,010124,26737,63019,80838,29736,68838,46757,10571,95289,470
Avg Temp586167748291918985766658
Max Temp697278849198999692867769
Avg Temp323438425161686760493732
Min Temp202224303949616049352219
Temperature values in °F; Precipitation in Inches

Saguaro National Park Road Trips

Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Saguaro National Park is visited.

Trip NameTrip MilesTrip Days
Continental Divide National Historic Trail RV Road Trip2,31514
South to North, Arizona to Montana & Saguaro to Glacier2,12014
Organ Pipe, Saguaro, Gila, Petrified Forest to Sedona9058

Other Nearby National Park Sites

From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Saguaro National Park.

Tumac57 mi
Fort Bowie National Historic Site63 mi
Coronado National Memorial64 mi
Chiricahua National Monument69 mi
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument79 mi
Tonto National Monument103 mi
Hohokam Pima National Monument105 mi
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument136 mi
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument146 mi
Montezuma Castle National Monument181 mi

Nearby Campsites & RV Parks

If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Saguaro National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.

NameDetailsMiles Away
Molino BasinTucson, AZ more 13 miles
General HitchcockTucson, AZ more 14 miles
Rose CanyonTucson, AZ more 15 miles
Spencer CanyonTucson, AZ more 18 miles
Agave Gulch MilitaryAZ more 22 miles
PeppersauceOracle, AZ more 24 miles
Catalina State ParkTucson, AZ more 28 miles
Kartchner Caverns State ParkBenson, AZ more 31 miles
Gilbert RayTucson, AZ more 38 miles
Cochise StrongholdSunsites, AZ more 39 miles

Nearest Ski Resorts

For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Saguaro National Park:

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
Mt. LemmonMount Lemmon, AZ9,150 ft47%21 mi

Nearest Airports

When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Saguaro National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.

Large Airports

A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Saguaro National Park.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International AirportPHXPhoenix, AZ120 mi
Lake Havasu City International AirportLHSLake Havasu City, AZ263 mi
Harry Reid International AirportLASLas Vegas, NV375 mi
San Diego International AirportSANSan Diego, CA391 mi
Ontario International AirportONTOntario, CA429 mi
Los Angeles International AirportLAXLos Angeles, CA472 mi
Medium Airports

A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Saguaro National Park.

Tuscon International AirportTUSTuscon, AZ27 mi
Sierra Vista Municipal Airport / Libby Army Air FieldFHUFort Huachuca / Sierra Vista, AZ47 mi
Phoenix–Mesa Gateway AirportAZAMesa, AZ99 mi
Prescott International Airport - Ernest A. Love FieldPRCPrescott, AZ199 mi
Flagstaff Pulliam International AirportFLGFlagstaff, AZ210 mi
Yuma International Airport / Marine Corps Air Station YumaYUMYuma, AZ241 mi
El Paso International AirportELPEl Paso, TX243 mi

Credits: Campground data provided by Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.