When we decided to come to the Tucson area, I was very interested in seeing Saguaro National Park. National Parks are usually a safe bet for gorgeous scenery and interesting to visit. We were not disappointed today!
While at the Visitor Center yesterday I found an awesome bike jersey that had a tag line on the back “Ride Among the Giants”. So today we didn’t bike but we did Walk Among the Giants.
We did a 12 km hike, rising about 550 m from the trailhead and it was a real joy to walk. The first half to the top of the hike was initially a gentle rise along an abandoned mine road, looking at the hills full of huge saguaro (pronounced “suh·waa·row”, by the way). Being protected in this park means they can grow untouched by nearby car pollution, construction and other urban blight. We marvelled at the many shapes, sizes but mostly how big they were! The last part of the hike to the top was a series of switchbacks, but nothing terrible, and we had views the entire way; something that made this hike so special.
The temperature finally reached about 10C (was 4C when we woke up!) but the sunshine the whole way made it very comfortable for hiking, and we realized that there is no way we, or anyone else, should be doing this type of hike in the summer. Just too hot and no shade.
The descent from our lunch spot was steep, but on a series of switchbacks, and the footing was wonderful with a firm sandy trail. No rocks or roots to navigate. The views were spectacular, because we were along the spine of a ridge for a big part of the descent, and we just fully enjoyed our entire hike back down The expansive views over the valley and the towering, multi-shaped cacti were wonderful to see.
We got back to the car tired but invigorated by being able to enjoy a hike in such a different environment than what we are used to.
To save uploading a lot of pictures to this site, the best ones are on this Relive video. Click HERE to see the entire route and enjoy the views!