TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of walks and talks that explore the park’s wonderful natural and cultural histories.
Interpretive programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Program schedules are subject to change; visitors should call the visitor centers for updates or reservations.
Programs are offered on most days in the morning at 10:15 and/or 11:15, and in the afternoon at 2:15 and/or 3:15 and last 30 to 45 minutes. Topics include mountain lions, lizards, coyotes, javelinas, kangaroo rats, insects, birds, survival strategies, the saguaro cactus, and other topics related to the desert. All programs are subject to change. Call the visitor center at (520) 733-5158 for updates the day of the program.
April 15 3:30 p.m. Wasson Peak Moonlight Hike: 7 hours, 8 miles roundtrip: This hike climbs 1,700 feet to the highest point in the Tucson Mountains. Enjoy a 360-degree view of the sunset before descending by the light of the moon. The hike is at an easy-to-moderate pace but is considered difficult due to elevation gain and hiking after dark. Ages 12 and older. Reservations required; 733-5158
April 17 4:45 p.m. Sunset Hike 4 hours, 3 1/2 miles roundtrip: This hike gains 700 feet with most of the elevation change in switchbacks near the ridgeline, where hikers will watch the sunset before descending under moonlight. Reservations required; 733-5158
April 19 8 p.m. Moonrise Over The Mountains Patio program: 45 minutes: The patio talk is offered on the night of the full moon. Come out to the Red Hills Visitor Center and enjoy a short talk about the moon and the music of two of our talented volunteer musicians as the full moon rises above the beautiful array of Saguaro Cacti. Bring a chair and dress for the cool desert evenings. All ages. Wheelchair accessible. No reservations necessary.
April 5 3:45 p.m. & April 19 4 p.m. Silhouettes at Sundown Hike: 3 hours, 2 1/2 miles: Trek along an arroyo as the setting sun magically silhouettes the Southwest’s most famous icon – the giant saguaro. This walk is one-third sandy wash with a few rock outcroppings, one-third hill with a gentle grade, and one-third dirt road. Meet at the King Canyon Trailhead.
April 13 12:30 p.m. I Hike for Health Hike: 4 hours, 3.5 miles: Earn a free hiking medal as you hike 3 miles and discover the health benefits of hiking in our national parks. Water and sturdy hiking shoes are recommended. Meet at the Sendero Esperanza Trailhead. Plan for 20 minutes of driving time to location from the visitor center.
Apr. 6, 13, 20, 27 9:45 a.m. The Plants Tell All Walk: 2 hours, 3/4 mile: Plants are the foundation of the web of life. Join a park naturalist to learn the secrets of what ties the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert together. Plant survival, insects and spiders, birds and mammals -- nothing is off limits for discussion on this discovery trek through the desert. For this moderate walk, closed-toed shoes, a hat, and water are required.
Apr. 15, 21 10:15 a.m. Picture This...Life Through A Different Lens Talk and Walk: 45 minutes: Experience the desert from a whole new view with this interactive photography program; designed to present the basics of photography while envoking emotional connections with the desert.
April 2, 9, 16 2 p.m. Birds, Birds, Birds Presentation: From Hummingbirds to Trogons, come meet the common and not so common birds that are found in Southeastern Arizona and where to see them. Learn how our public lands, like Saguaro National Park, are important in protecting a wide variety of species
April 4, 11, 25 2 p.m. Wild About Flowers Guided Hike: A walk for the serious flower fancier. We’ll walk for about 2 hours in search of what’s blooming today while discussing the subtler aspects of pollination, taxonomy, and wildflower habits and habitats. Sturdy walking shoes and water are recommended
April 5, 19, 26 10 a.m. Wildflower Walk Guided Walk: An easy, level, one-hour walk to see the commonest flowers in bloom this day and a basic look at the magic of flowers. Comfortable walking shoes and water are recommended.
April 5, 12, 19, 26 2 p.m. Drive-Thru Geology Auto Tour: Hop in your car for a journey through 25 million years of earth history…in one hour! We’ll observe the varied landforms of the desert – bajadas, washes, outcrops – and find out why geology students from around the world come to see the Rincon Mountain foothills. (Hint: it’s the mylonitic gneiss!)
April 6, 20, 27 11 a.m. Cactus Caravan Auto Tour: Begin your exploration of the Cactus Forest Drive with a park ranger and become familiar with some of the common cacti. A great introduction to the park! Accessible Program
April 6, 20 6 p.m. & April 27 6:15 p.m. Sunset Hike Guided Hike: Join a park guide to take a short hike up to a rocky overlook of the Tucson Basin. Nature will determine how good the sunset is, but bring your camera just in case it’s a famous Arizona sundown! Sturdy hiking shoes, water are recommended. Meets at Javelina Picnic Area.
April 7, 14, 21 10 a.m. Plant People Guided Walk: Join a park ranger to explore the traditional uses of native Sonoran Desert plants. Comfortable walking shoes and water are recommended.
April 11 7 p.m. Star Party Illustrated Program & Activity: Join park naturalists for an introduction to astronomy and a look at the desert night sky. Telescopes and binoculars will be available. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153. Accessible Program
April 12 7 p.m. Night Walk Guided Walk: Join a park naturalist for this easy two-hour hike to explore and experience the Sonoran Desert at night. Dress for the weather. Comfortable walking shoes, water and a flashlight are recommended. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153
Both visitor centers are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Christmas Day.
- Red Hills Visitor Center (Saguaro WEST): 2700 North Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85743; (520) 733-5158
- Rincon Mountain Visitor Center (Saguaro EAST):3693 South Old Spanish Trail, Tucson, AZ 85730 (520) 733-5153