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Cactus Forest Drive, Saguaro National Park 36

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Cactus Forest Drive, Saguaro National Park 36
about endangered animals
Image by Ken Lund
Enormous cacti, silhouetted by the setting sun, for most of us the Giant Saguaro is the universal symbol of the American West. And yet, these majestic plants are only found in a small portion of the United States. Saguaro National Park protects some of the most impressive forests of these sub-tropical giants, on the edge of the modern City of Tucson.


Saguaro National Park, located in the state of Arizona, is part of the United States national park system.

Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections, lying approximately 20 miles (32 km) east and 15 miles (24 km) west of the center of the city of Tucson, Arizona. Total area in 2002 was 143 square miles (91,327 acres) (370 km²) of which 111 square miles (289 km²) is designated wilderness. There is a visitor center in each section. Both are easily reached by car from Tucson, but there is no public transport into either section. Both sections conserve fine tracts of the Sonoran Desert, including ranges of significant hills, the Tucson Mountains in the west and the Rincon Mountains in the east. The park gets its name from the saguaro cactus which is native to the region. Many other kinds of cactus, including barrel cactus, cholla cactus, and prickly pear, are also abundant in the park. One endangered animal, the Lesser Long-nosed Bat, lives in the park part of the year during its migration, together with one threatened species, the Mexican Spotted Owl.

The park was established as Saguaro National Monument on March 1, 1933, and changed to a national park on October 14, 1994.

Facilities in the park include 150 miles (240 km) of well marked and maintained hiking trails, and shorter walking trails with interpretative information available. Hiking is not advisable during the hot summer months.

The Rincon Mountain District is located at the eastern edge of Tucson, Arizona; the east side of the park was the original National Monument. What is unique about this park is that it starts off in the Sonoran Desert and gradually gives way to a montane coniferous forest of the Rincon Mountains. The highest peak in this range is Mica Mountain, at an elevation of 8,666 feet (2641 m). While this side of the park has fewer Saguaros than its counterpart they remain larger in size, due to higher amounts of rainfall and run off from the Rincon Mountains.

The key feature of this district is its 8.3-mile (13.4 km) loop, which connects its two picnic areas and central trails. Recently after a lengthy road improvement project, and refurbishment of the Visitor Center, the Rincon District is fully open once more.

Hiking on this side of the park is readily accessible to visitors. There are trail heads present at the east end of Speedway and Broadway, but these trail heads are commonly used by horses and get heavy usage on the weekends. Off the park's loop road there are several additional trail heads. Each Visitor Center will supply a map of hiking trails on request.

And at the southern boundary of the park is the Hope Camp Trails which are also commonly used for horses. Access to the Hope Camp Trails is found at the end of Camino Loma Alta, however the road is no longer paved for the last couple hundred yards. This section of the park was added in 1991 when Congress authroized the purchase of 4,011 acres (16.23 km2).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saguaro_National_Park

www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm


Cactus Forest Drive, Saguaro National Park 3
about endangered animals
Image by Ken Lund
Enormous cacti, silhouetted by the setting sun, for most of us the Giant Saguaro is the universal symbol of the American West. And yet, these majestic plants are only found in a small portion of the United States. Saguaro National Park protects some of the most impressive forests of these sub-tropical giants, on the edge of the modern City of Tucson.


Saguaro National Park, located in the state of Arizona, is part of the United States national park system.

Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections, lying approximately 20 miles (32 km) east and 15 miles (24 km) west of the center of the city of Tucson, Arizona. Total area in 2002 was 143 square miles (91,327 acres) (370 km²) of which 111 square miles (289 km²) is designated wilderness. There is a visitor center in each section. Both are easily reached by car from Tucson, but there is no public transport into either section. Both sections conserve fine tracts of the Sonoran Desert, including ranges of significant hills, the Tucson Mountains in the west and the Rincon Mountains in the east. The park gets its name from the saguaro cactus which is native to the region. Many other kinds of cactus, including barrel cactus, cholla cactus, and prickly pear, are also abundant in the park. One endangered animal, the Lesser Long-nosed Bat, lives in the park part of the year during its migration, together with one threatened species, the Mexican Spotted Owl.

The park was established as Saguaro National Monument on March 1, 1933, and changed to a national park on October 14, 1994.

Facilities in the park include 150 miles (240 km) of well marked and maintained hiking trails, and shorter walking trails with interpretative information available. Hiking is not advisable during the hot summer months.

The Rincon Mountain District is located at the eastern edge of Tucson, Arizona; the east side of the park was the original National Monument. What is unique about this park is that it starts off in the Sonoran Desert and gradually gives way to a montane coniferous forest of the Rincon Mountains. The highest peak in this range is Mica Mountain, at an elevation of 8,666 feet (2641 m). While this side of the park has fewer Saguaros than its counterpart they remain larger in size, due to higher amounts of rainfall and run off from the Rincon Mountains.

The key feature of this district is its 8.3-mile (13.4 km) loop, which connects its two picnic areas and central trails. Recently after a lengthy road improvement project, and refurbishment of the Visitor Center, the Rincon District is fully open once more.

Hiking on this side of the park is readily accessible to visitors. There are trail heads present at the east end of Speedway and Broadway, but these trail heads are commonly used by horses and get heavy usage on the weekends. Off the park's loop road there are several additional trail heads. Each Visitor Center will supply a map of hiking trails on request.

And at the southern boundary of the park is the Hope Camp Trails which are also commonly used for horses. Access to the Hope Camp Trails is found at the end of Camino Loma Alta, however the road is no longer paved for the last couple hundred yards. This section of the park was added in 1991 when Congress authroized the purchase of 4,011 acres (16.23 km2).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saguaro_National_Park

www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm


Cactus Forest Drive, Saguaro National Park in Rain 2
about endangered animals
Image by Ken Lund
Enormous cacti, silhouetted by the setting sun, for most of us the Giant Saguaro is the universal symbol of the American West. And yet, these majestic plants are only found in a small portion of the United States. Saguaro National Park protects some of the most impressive forests of these sub-tropical giants, on the edge of the modern City of Tucson.


Saguaro National Park, located in the state of Arizona, is part of the United States national park system.

Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections, lying approximately 20 miles (32 km) east and 15 miles (24 km) west of the center of the city of Tucson, Arizona. Total area in 2002 was 143 square miles (91,327 acres) (370 km²) of which 111 square miles (289 km²) is designated wilderness. There is a visitor center in each section. Both are easily reached by car from Tucson, but there is no public transport into either section. Both sections conserve fine tracts of the Sonoran Desert, including ranges of significant hills, the Tucson Mountains in the west and the Rincon Mountains in the east. The park gets its name from the saguaro cactus which is native to the region. Many other kinds of cactus, including barrel cactus, cholla cactus, and prickly pear, are also abundant in the park. One endangered animal, the Lesser Long-nosed Bat, lives in the park part of the year during its migration, together with one threatened species, the Mexican Spotted Owl.

The park was established as Saguaro National Monument on March 1, 1933, and changed to a national park on October 14, 1994.

Facilities in the park include 150 miles (240 km) of well marked and maintained hiking trails, and shorter walking trails with interpretative information available. Hiking is not advisable during the hot summer months.

The Rincon Mountain District is located at the eastern edge of Tucson, Arizona; the east side of the park was the original National Monument. What is unique about this park is that it starts off in the Sonoran Desert and gradually gives way to a montane coniferous forest of the Rincon Mountains. The highest peak in this range is Mica Mountain, at an elevation of 8,666 feet (2641 m). While this side of the park has fewer Saguaros than its counterpart they remain larger in size, due to higher amounts of rainfall and run off from the Rincon Mountains.

The key feature of this district is its 8.3-mile (13.4 km) loop, which connects its two picnic areas and central trails. Recently after a lengthy road improvement project, and refurbishment of the Visitor Center, the Rincon District is fully open once more.

Hiking on this side of the park is readily accessible to visitors. There are trail heads present at the east end of Speedway and Broadway, but these trail heads are commonly used by horses and get heavy usage on the weekends. Off the park's loop road there are several additional trail heads. Each Visitor Center will supply a map of hiking trails on request.

And at the southern boundary of the park is the Hope Camp Trails which are also commonly used for horses. Access to the Hope Camp Trails is found at the end of Camino Loma Alta, however the road is no longer paved for the last couple hundred yards. This section of the park was added in 1991 when Congress authroized the purchase of 4,011 acres (16.23 km2).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saguaro_National_Park

www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm

 
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