Cactus Forest Loop Road CLOSURE
The Cactus Forest Loop Road in Saguaro National Park Rincon Mountain District (east) will be closed March 10th and 11th from 5am to 8am. The Visitor Center Parking Lot will also be closed on March 11th from 5am to 8am for road striping. More »
Construction on roads in Tucson Mountain District may cause delays up to 30 mins
Starting February 3rd, work will begin to improve safety features along Picture Rocks Road, Sandario Road and Kinney Road. Work may cause delays up to 30 minutes and the work is scheduled to continue into March. More »
Historic Section 17 Saguaros
Shortly after the Saguaro National Park was established in 1933, park rangers noticed a decline in saguaros in the Cactus Forest area on the east side of Tucson. In order to study why the cacti were dying, all saguaros were measured and counted in a one square mile section of the park called Section 17. Smaller plots within the section have been studied ever since.
In the winter of 2011-2012, Saguaro National Park resurveyed Section 17 in its entirety for the first time in 70 years. The information we gathered will help park scientists better understand the life cycle of saguaros, factors that affect their health, and how the ecosystem has changed over time.
What did we learn from this project? Saguaro populations declined in Section 17 from the late 1930s until the 1970s. There are still fewer saguaros than there were in 1941, but there are significantly more small saguaros, which means the future of this section is bright. For more details, you may read the final report here.
Learn more about the 2010 Saguaro Census
Did You Know?
The average life span of a saguaro cactus is 150 years, but some plants may live more than 200 years. A 20 foot tall saguaro weighs approximately 1 ton (2000 pounds).