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 McCoy – 720 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 Tucson – 1995 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:
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|
|Hours||Open to vehicles from sunrise to sunset daily. You can walk or bike into the park 24 hours a day.|
|Entrance Fee||$25 per vehicle, valid for 7 days|
|Learn More||Official Website|
When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation
Saguaro National Park is the 85th 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.
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 Name||Trip Miles||Trip Days|
|Continental Divide National Historic Trail RV Road Trip||2,315||14|
|South to North, Arizona to Montana & Saguaro to Glacier||2,120||14|
|Organ Pipe, Saguaro, Gila, Petrified Forest to Sedona||905||8|
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.
|Fort Bowie National Historic Site||63 mi|
|Coronado National Memorial||64 mi|
|Chiricahua National Monument||69 mi|
|Casa Grande Ruins National Monument||79 mi|
|Tonto National Monument||103 mi|
|Hohokam Pima National Monument||105 mi|
|Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument||136 mi|
|Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument||146 mi|
|Montezuma Castle National Monument||181 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.
|Molino Basin||Tucson, AZ more||13 miles|
|General Hitchcock||Tucson, AZ more||14 miles|
|Rose Canyon||Tucson, AZ more||15 miles|
|Spencer Canyon||Tucson, AZ more||18 miles|
|Agave Gulch Military||AZ more||22 miles|
|Peppersauce||Oracle, AZ more||24 miles|
|Catalina State Park||Tucson, AZ more||28 miles|
|Kartchner Caverns State Park||Benson, AZ more||31 miles|
|Gilbert Ray||Tucson, AZ more||38 miles|
|Cochise Stronghold||Sunsites, 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:
|Mt. Lemmon||Mount Lemmon, AZ||9,150 ft||48%||21 mi|
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.
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 Airport||PHX||Phoenix, AZ||120 mi|
|Lake Havasu City International Airport||LHS||Lake Havasu City, AZ||263 mi|
|Harry Reid International Airport||LAS||Las Vegas, NV||375 mi|
|San Diego International Airport||SAN||San Diego, CA||391 mi|
|Ontario International Airport||ONT||Ontario, CA||429 mi|
|Los Angeles International Airport||LAX||Los Angeles, CA||472 mi|
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 Airport||TUS||Tuscon, AZ||27 mi|
|Sierra Vista Municipal Airport / Libby Army Air Field||FHU||Fort Huachuca / Sierra Vista, AZ||47 mi|
|Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport||AZA||Mesa, AZ||99 mi|
|Prescott International Airport - Ernest A. Love Field||PRC||Prescott, AZ||199 mi|
|Flagstaff Pulliam International Airport||FLG||Flagstaff, AZ||210 mi|
|Yuma International Airport / Marine Corps Air Station Yuma||YUM||Yuma, AZ||241 mi|
|El Paso International Airport||ELP||El Paso, TX||243 mi|
Credits: Campground data provided by USCampgrounds.info. Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from OurAirports.com. Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.