Video: Guide to Saguaro National Park

Divided into two sections, with the city of Tucson sitting in the middle, Saguaro National Park is easily accessible

Saguaro National Park in Arizona is divided into two sections with the city of Tucson sitting in the middle. The park is easily accessible due to its proximity to this major metropolitan area. Whether you’re flying in or driving, this national park is a must-visit when traveling to the Tucson area.

Here’s where you should stay and a few must-do activities when visiting Saguaro National Park:

Visit both sides. Plan enough time to visit both sides of the park. Each section offers hiking trails, scenic drives, and visitor centers, so be sure to check out both of the park’s unique districts. 

Related A Southwest road trip inspired by Wes Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’

Where to stay. Inside the park you’ll find permit-only backcountry camping, but there are campgrounds just outside of the park for those traveling with RVs. Gilbert Ray Campground is a great place to park your rig, but be sure to make your reservation ahead of time as this is a popular destination for RVers. There are also plenty of hotels in Tucson that put you between both of the park’s districts. 

Valley View Trail. Hike this trail off of the Bajada Loop to get an up-close look at a variety of cacti including saguaros. This hike also gives you amazing views of the park’s valley. 

Signal Hill Petroglyphs. This stop is also along the Bajada Loop, and is an easy hike featuring incredible views of ancient petroglyphs. 

Related 10 pit stops to make on a road trip along I-10 from Arizona to New Mexico

Loop Drive. On the east side of the park you’ll find this scenic roadway, which offers plenty of places to stop for hiking and exploring, plus you get amazing views of the Rincon Mountains.

Sky Islands Scenic Byway. Just outside of the park you’ll find this scenic byway, which takes you up 6,000 feet to Mt. Lemmon. This drive showcases the area’s diverse landscapes ranging from desert cacti to snow-covered mountains.

Take this trip