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About Your Visit

No water, gasoline, food, lodging, or similar facilities are available in the monument. A picnic ground has shaded tables and fireplaces, but overnight camping is not permitted, and there is no water. However, the entrance to the monument is only 17 miles from downtown Tucson where every type of accommodation can be obtained. The monument can be reached from Tucson by a paved highway called "Old Spanish Trail," leaving Broadway Avenue, at the eastern edge of the city. You will find a large parking area at the National Park Service headquarters near the entrance. The Administration-Visitor Center has an air-cooled lobby where information service is provided. Here, also, are a number of exhibits which explain the natural history features of the area and help make the monument of greater interest and significance to you. A small cactus garden outside the building will help identify these remarkable plants.

Saguaro National Monument and vicinity.
(click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

At the Visitor Center is the start and finish of a 9-mile loop drive along a surfaced road that provides access to the Cactus Forest, the most spectacular and heavily vegetated part of the desert. A self-guiding booklet, obtained at the information desk, explains significant features marked along the drive. If you enjoy horseback riding you can rent saddle horses at private ranches adjoining the monument to ride either through the Cactus Forest or over mountain trails of the Tanque Verdes and Rincons.

A diagrammatic view showing the developed area at the left and the route of the proposed desert-to-mountain highway.

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Last Modified: Sat, Nov 4 2006 10:00:00 pm PST

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