Saguaro National Park

Saguaro is named after the nation's largest cacti, the giant saguaro. It is composed of two districts: The Rincon Mountain District and The Tucson Mountain District. The Tucson mountains are considerably lower in elevation and are composed of desert and grasslands. This is where the giant saguaros are prevalent. The Rincon Mountains reach considerably higher elevations and go through 6 distinct biospheres as you climb. This includes desert scrub, desert grassland, oak woodland, pine-oak woodland, pine forest and mixed conifer forest.

Giant Saguaro

We spent our time here doing one big backpacking hike to the top of Mica Mountain in the Rincon Mountain district where we camped at Manning Camp for two nights. The hike was grueling but it was awesome to see the changes in plant and animal life as we climbed the mountain.

Highest point on Mica Mountain

Entering the Park from Turkey Creek Trail

This was also my first time wearing snake boots. I don't like rattlesnakes. I don't care what I look like. I hiked an elevation gain of 4,000 feet in 8.7 miles in those bad boys. This was my first experience filtering my own drinking water as well. We saw and heard wild turkey constantly and got some beautiful views from the top. I would recommend spending a little more time here than we did. We completely skipped over the Tucson Mountains and while I did see giant saguaros in the area, I didn't see any in the park proper. I think you could get a better experience in a 4 or 5 day trip.

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