Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A visit to Saguaro National Park's eastern section

Sagauro National Park
If a pleasant walk in the desert suits your mood, then head to Saguaro National Park Rincon east of Tucson. The park has a quarter-mile Desert Ecology loop trail that takes strollers by a variety of cactus and other vegetation.

The trail has plenty of benches where armchair hikers can sit and enjoy the surroundings. It’s paved, which makes it wheelchair-accessible.

Visitors should be on the lookout for wildlife. The ranger at the entrance kiosk says any type of wildlife, from creepy crawlies on up, can be seen. We only saw birds and bees, but did see a couple of places where larger animals had burrowed into the ground around trees.  A few miles down the road, however, we did see a black tree snake as it crawled off the narrow one-way road.

An eight-mile road loops through this section of the park. It undulates as it slowly makes it way closer to the Rincon Mountains. There are plenty of places to pull off the road to enjoy the view or walk a less developed trail. The park has about 150 miles of trails. More adventuresome hikers might opt for a 12-15 trek to Manning Cabin, an old vacation cabin.

Saguaro National Park
Saguaro East teems with flora and fauna. The park is home to 25 varieties of cactus, 200 species of birds, 60 species of mammals and, of course, numerous reptiles, such as rattlesnakes and gila monsters.

Saguaro National Park is divided by the city of Tucson. The eastern section is known as Rincon Mountain District while the western portion is the Tucson Mountain District. The western section can be easily combined with a visit to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum or Old Tucson, while the eastern section is an outing unto itself. It’s reached by taking the Broadway or 22nd Street exits from I-10. Head northeast for several miles, then make a right turn onto Old Spanish Trail and follow the signs.
For more photos of the park, see Saguaro National Park on my Youtube chnnel.

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