Cornforth Images

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections, lying approximately 20 miles (32 km) east and 15 miles (24 km) west of the city of Tucson, Arizona. Both sections conserve tracts of the Sonoran Desert, including the Tucson Mountains in the west and the Rincon Mountains in the east. Both districts were formed to protect their namesake plant, the saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). Many other kinds of cactus, including barrel cactus, cholla cactus, and prickly pear, are also abundant in the park. One endangered animal, the lesser long-nosed bat, lives in the park part of the year, together with one threatened species, the Mexican spotted owl. The park was established as Saguaro National Monument in 1933 and changed to a national park in 1994.

Saguaro National Park can be photographed year round, but is especially rewarding when the saguaros are in bloom usualy during the month of May. Antelope Canyon is best photographed when the sun is high overhead during the months of May and June.