Neal’s Favorite Photos – Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Here are a handful of photos taken at Saguaro National Park in Arizona. The Park is one of three National Parks located in the State of Arizona (along with Grand Canyon National Park and Petrified Forest National Park). Saguaro is located in southeastern Arizona and preserves large portions of the Sonoran Desert. The highlight and its namesake is the giant saguaro cactus. The Park consists of two distinct areas flanking Tucson, Arizona (simply labeled as east and west).

Neal (“I”) visited Saguaro National Park on a Sunday in January following a Saturday ultramarathon in the Phoenix area (more on that in the future). With a flight departing back to Denver at 4:00 p.m., there was unfortunately not enough time to explore all that Saguaro has to offer. Some advanced research made pretty clear that the west side was the best option for the limited time.

The drive from Phoenix was a little over 100 miles and the time flew by checking in with both my parents in the Washington, DC area and Margaret back in Denver. I took the exit off of I-10 and quickly realized I needed all my senses to soak in the increasing welcoming of saguaros as I approached the entrance to the Park. It seemed like the lifelike limbs of the giant cacti were waving hello and directing me into a world unlike anything I ever experienced.

I stopped by the Visitor Center and picked up a map and bought a patch for my collection. It was a quick drive up a relatively smooth dirt road (the rented Toyota Corolla had no problem) to the Valley View Overlook Trail. I completed close to 33 miles (52k) on my feet the prior day so this short and groomed trail was perfect. The sun permeated the desert landscape and my body and soul.

15 thoughts on “Neal’s Favorite Photos – Saguaro National Park, Arizona

  1. Lovely photos. I went to the university in Tucson and used to hike every day, sometimes twice a day. I spent time in Tucson again in 2013 and hiked every other day. I found hikes in both East and West Saguaro National park and they were all so lovely. East park is more spread out so yes, not with the amount of concentrated cacti as the west but still lovely. Glad you got to experience it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so fortunate that you got to explore as much as you did. It is a beautiful place and a beautiful part of the country. In addition to exploring Saguaro more, we really want to see northern Arizona (Flagstaff, Sedona, etc.). Take care!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t it beautiful? This is our home and stomping grounds. We live about a two mile walk from the edge of Saguaro Natural Park land. We have had a very dry year or you may have been able to see some of the spring flowers start to show their colorful faces. Great photos! So glad you enjoyed your visit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So beautiful! That must be a great place to call home! Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes indeed! …except in June when it can hit 115 degrees! 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So we’ve heard. Is it unbearable or are there ways to make it okay?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Honestly, if your car AC works and you have good AC at home/work, it really is ok. You don’t want to be out in it directly in the heat of the day, especially much over 100 degrees. But it is a dry heat, and YES it makes a difference. We take water with us everywhere. We go out early for walks and it is hot, but it’s not as bad as you might think. But we are used to it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That sounds good. Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Keltin and I are trying to plan a road trip that allow us to visit Saguaro NP and the Grand Canyon! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be an amazing time! Hope you can make that happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! Me too!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome photos. I have never been thete. I know – I need to get moving!

    Liked by 1 person

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