This loop drive is shorter than the one above and feels less developed. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Saguaro … Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections called districts. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Speaking of the visitor center, both visitor centers were closed when I visited so I was not able to compare those. The East also has a much higher elevation point with Mica Mt at 8,666ft compared to the West’s highest point: Wasson Peak at 4,687ft. Since there are no pay fee booths in the east, you’ll have to go to the Red Hills Visitor Center to pick up your pass. If you’d like to do a quick hike on a paved way you can look into the Desert Ecology Trail. In 1933 Saguaro National Monument was created. The East district is going to offer you much more extensive hiking with 128 miles of hiking trails, including multiple back country opportunities. The loop will likely take you around 25 minutes but again you will want to allocate more time if you’d like to stop and check out the views. Getting to Saguaro National Park. Personally, I prefer the West park simply because I enjoyed the high concentration of cactus and felt like it was more remote. We traveled here the first day. Saguaro National Park East is nearly three times as big as the West district. I you have only one day to visit sights in Tucson, I would recommend the west unit of Saguaro NP because you could also go to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a world-renowned zoo with native … I found it very helpful so don’t forget to grab one of those at the visitor center. There are little hills on the road and it's not that wide so make sure to lookout for people walking or riding their bikes. Front Page of TMD-Saguaro West Hiking Map . That’s not necessarily a bad thing though as you can quickly get to some nice restaurants like Saguaro Corners and enjoy a nice juicy burger or delicious Mac-n-cheese. Cactus Forest Drive (east) The east district has an 8-mile paved loop that gives you a chance to see … I guess it wouldn't be a bad place to live, right up against a national park. If you only have time to visit one, go West. Here, you will find some large boulders to climb up on that offer exceptional views for a sunset. It’s not as clear-cut as to where to go since there are multiple roads, but just follow Hohokam Road to Golden Gate Road and then turn left and you’ll be fine. On the way we want to visit the Saguaro National Park. It has minimal changes in elevation and would be a great hike to view a sunset (the trail also has tons of interpretive panels and is well-maintained). However, the hills and trails are fun to explore. Saguaro National Park is home to the iconic Saguaro cactus and one of the best parks in Arizona. Welcome to Saguaro National Park Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation's largest cacti. I would suggest that you pick up a hiking pamphlet which will break down many of the hikes for you in the park. Because so much rain poured the previous day, the weather was cold enough to snow on the upper elevation of the Rincon Mountains. On the other hand, the West district only has 43 miles of hiking trails. Not only is it around 6,000 feet in elevation, but the panorama views from the trail are spectacular. In this article, I will give you a detailed comparison between the two Saguaro National Park districts and highlight some of the strong points of each park. The West area actually has more picnic areas (five) versus the East (two). Established in 1994, there was an effort earlier in the century to preserve the location as a monument because ranchers and settlers in the area were decimating the Saguaro cactus through road building and cattle trampling the seeds, preventing their replenishment. On the way we want to visit the Saguaro National Park. If you've ever considered climbing Angels Landing in Zion National Park, you'll want to see this. The TMD (west) boasts large stands of saguaro cactus creating a breathtaking saguaro forest, whereas the RMD (east) hosts a magnificent sky island, where you can find bears, cougars and … The weather during December can change relatively quickly. Answer 1 of 10: We will take a day trip in November from Phoenix to Tucson. In the West … The Rincon Mountain District is located to the East of Tucson Arizona and the Tucson Mountain District is located to the West of Tucson AZ. 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