Standing sentinel in the desert, the towering saguaro is perhaps the most familiar emblem of the Southwest. Known for their height (often 50 feet) and arms reaching out in weird configurations, these slow-growing giants can take 15 years to grow a foot high and up to 75 years to grow their first arm. A typical saguaro lives 150 years, but many survive more than 200 years. They are found only in the Sonoran Desert, and the largest concentration is in Saguaro National Park. In late spring (usually May), the succulent's top is covered with tiny white blooms—the Arizona state flower. The cacti are protected by state and federal laws, so don't disturb them.
- Saguaro sightseeing Hike, bike, or drive through dense saguaro stands for an up-close look at this king of all cacti.
- Wildlife watching Diverse wildlife roams through the park, including such ground dwellers as javelinas, coyotes, and rattlesnakes, and winged residents ranging from the migratory lesser long-nosed bat to the diminutive elf owl.
- Ancient artwork Get a glimpse into the past at the numerous petroglyph rock-art sites where ancient peoples etched into the stones as far back as 5000 BC.
- Desert hiking Take a trek through the undisturbed and magical Sonoran Desert, and discover that it's more than cacti.
- Two districts, one park Split into two districts, the park offers a duo of separate experiences on opposite sides of Tucson.