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    Saguaro

    National Park Arizona

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  • Rincon Mountain District Backcountry Closures Due to Wildland Fire Activity

    Due to fire activity and for the safety of hikers and campers, some trail and campground closures have been enacted. All off-trail areas within Saguaro National Park east of Douglas Spring Trail and Manning Camp Trails are also closed. More »

  • Short Term Trail Closures for Buffelgrass Treatment

    Between August 19 and August 29, isolated trails in both districts may be closed for a short duration as aerial treatment of invasive buffelgrass is happening in that area. Closures will be posted at each trail and announced on facebook daily. More »

News Releases


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August 12, 2014
Monsoon Season Storms Cause Flash Flooding in Saguaro National Park's Tucson Mountain District
Tucson, AZ- Monsoon season storms have caused flash flooding in Saguaro National Park’s Tucson Mountain (West) District this afternoon. The flooding has damaged and washed out many segments of the Scenic Bajada Loop Drive. As a result, all of the dirt roads in the Tucson Mountain (West) District, except the segment leading to the Sus Picnic Area, have been closed at this time.

August 12, 2014
Rain Expected to Damper Deer Head Fire Activity
Tucson, AZ – The Deer Head Fire remains at approximately 1,097 acres and is 55% contained. Increasing moisture and humidity have slowed the fire’s progression in recent days and similar conditions are expected to persist throughout the week. Fire activity is expected to continue to decrease with the return of monsoon weather conditions and potential for precipitation.

August 11, 2014
Fuel Loads and Moisture Influence Deer Head Fire
Tucson, AZ – The Deer Head Fire remains at approximately 1,097 acres and is 55% contained. The fire’s eastern flank remains active, and firefighters continue to direct the fire’s spread away from sensitive resources such as the historic Manning Camp. The park’s strategy is to keep the fire east of Heartbreak Ridge.

August 10, 2014
Deer Head Fire Fifty Five Percent Contained
Tucson, AZ – Aerial reconnaissance yesterday afternoon showed that the Deer Head Fire grew, slightly, to approximately 1,097 acres. It is now 55% contained. The fire’s eastern flank remains active, and firefighters continue to direct the fire’s spread away from important resources such as the historic Manning Camp. The Park’s strategy is to keep the fire east of Heartbreak Ridge.

August 09, 2014
Deer Head Fire Continues to Meet Objectives
Tucson, AZ – The Deer Head Fire remains approximately 1,076 acres. This surface fire continues to benefit a fire-adapted ecosystem, burning in a mixture of brush, grass, and ponderosa pine and oak litter with low to moderate intensity. Increasing moisture and humidity have slowed the fire’s progression in recent days and similar conditions are expected to persist throughout the weekend.

August 08, 2014
Deer Head Fire Grows Slightly
Tucson, AZ – Global positioning instrument surveys of the Deer Head Fire indicate that it has grown slightly to 1,076 acres. The lightning caused fire is being managed for natural resource benefits, in the federally-designated Wilderness area of the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park.

August 07, 2014
Jackalope Fire Controlled; Deer Head Fire Smoke Column Continues to be Visible
Tucson, AZ – Smoke from the Deer Head Fire will continue to be visible today over the Rincon Mountains. The lightning caused fire is being managed for natural resource benefits in the federally designated Wilderness area of the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park

August 06, 2014
Deer Head Fire Smoke Column Visible Again From Tucson
Tucson, AZ – Smoke from the Deer Head Fire will be visible today over the Rincon Mountains. The lightning caused blaze is being managed for natural resource benefits in the federally designated Wilderness area of the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park.

 

August 5, 2014
Deer Head Fire Activity Increases
Tucson, AZ - Deer Head Fire activity increased yesterday. This was anticipated with the onset of another lull in monsoon moisture. The south and east portions of the fire showed the most fire activity causing firefighters to work along the Heartbreak Ridge Trail, and east of the trail, to establish buffers intended to confine westward progression of the fire in coming days.

August 4, 2014
Dry Weather Anticipated For Deer Head Fire
Tucson, AZ - The Deer Head Fire remained at 850 acres on Sunday, with low fire activity due to lingering moisture from the previous day's storms. Yesterday, firefighters concentrated on improving control features already in place and reducing fuels along key park trails outside of the current fire area. Clearing brush and undergrowth from these trails now will give firefighters a head-start, should fire activity levels increase this week. Today's work includes widening and improving the control lines already in place, and more fuel reduction as needed.

August 3, 2014
Significant Rainfall Eludes Deer Head Fire
Tucson, AZ - The lightning ignited Deer Head Fire remains 850 acres in size. Although many areas surrounding the Tucson Basin received significant rainfall Saturday, The Deer Head Fire are received a scant .08 inches. Firefighters yesterday monitored and patrolled the fire area. Mindful of the need to protect Manning Camp, firefighters continue to apply tactics to keep the fire from moving in that direction. This lightly burning fire is providing significant value to natural ecosystems, allowing fire managers to achieve many resource objectives.

August 2, 2014
Fire Crew Contains Jackalope Fire; Deer Head Fire Activity Reduced

Tucson, AZ - The Jackalope Fire was declared 100% contained at 2:00 pm today, but firefighters will continue to monitor the area until it is determined to be 100% controlled. The fire perimeter has now been mapped, and indicates a total of 30 acres were burned. The fire never reached lower elevation desert habitats. The Deer Head Fire has grown to 850 acres. A small amount of growth occurred Friday on the Southeast section of the fire, adding 25 acres to the previous day's totals. Crews continue to manage this fire as a natural event to allow natural processes to occur while providing renewal of vegetation, recirculation of nutrients, and increased habitat benefits to wildlife.

August 1, 2014
Firefighters Continue Suppression of Jackalope Fire; Monsoon Moisture Has
Moderated Deer Head Fire Activity

Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is bringing in twenty additional firefighters to help suppress the Jackalope Fire. A Type 3 helicopter will continue to provide support, dropping water from a bucket. Cooler temperatures and early morning precipitation have helped moderate fire activity. Fire managers anticipate full containment by this evening. The Deer Head Fire in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park is still active and has grown to 826 acres. The Manning Camp area near the fire has received approximately .24 inches of rain since yesterday. Cool temperatures and increased moisture likely will slow fire activity over the next several days.

July 31, 2014
Firefighters Suppressing New Lightning Ignited Fire in the Rincon Mountains
Tucson, AZ - Fire managers are responding to a new lightning-ignited fire in Saguaro National Park's Rincon Mountain District. The Tanque Verde Fire is located on Tanque Verde Ridge, near Juniper Basin. It is burning in grass and juniper at an elevation of approximately 6,000 feet. The fire was first reported today at approximately 2:30 pm. It is currently estimated to be approximately 10 acres.

July 31, 2014
Superintendent's Compendium Updated to Reflect Prohibition on Drone Use In
Saguaro National Park

Tucson, AZ - The Superintendent's Compendium for Saguaro National Park has been updated for 2014, and includes language prohibiting unmanned aircraft, including drones, quadcopters, and model airplanes from taking off or landing inside the park boundary.

July 31, 2014
Deer Head Fire Smoke Plume Visible From Mescal Road and Benson
Tucson, AZ - Wednesday afternoon, the smoke plume from the lightning-ignited Deer Head Fire, burning in the Saguaro Wilderness of Saguaro National Park, was very visible from the south along Interstate 10. The fire was burning in pockets of pine on the southeast and southwest corner of the fire, which increased the overall size to 754 acres of land burned. Firefighters conducted a burnout of approximately seven additional acres on the southern perimeter.

July 30, 2014
Deer Head Fire Continues to Provide Resource Benefits for Rincon Mountains
Tucson, AZ - The lightning ignited Deer Head Fire, burning in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park, continues to provide resource benefits. The slow moving surface fire has grown to approximately 650 acres. Fire Fighters were hampered in efforts to conduct burnouts by a small amount of rain that fell over the fire area on Tuesday. These burnout operations along the north and south perimeter of the fire will be attempted again to insure Manning Camp is protected and to create additional firefighter safety zones.

July 29, 2014
Monsoon Lull May Increase Fire Behavior in Saguaro National Park
Tucson, AZ - The lightning-ignited Deer Head Fire, named for nearby Deer Head Spring, is burning in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park. Yesterday's helicopter GPS survey update indicates it has grown to 550 acres. Fire behavior was light yesterday, due to high humidity and cool overnight temperatures. Rainfall at the fire has been minimal with no precipitation recorded yesterday. Today and tomorrow the weather forecast calls for lower humidity and increased temperatures. These conditions are expected to lead to increased fire activity.

July 28, 2014
Crews Prepare for Increased Fire Activity Due to Drier Weather Forecast
Tucson, AZ - The lightning-ignited Deer Head Fire burning in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park is approximately 320 acres. This figure is an estimate based on GPS data from a helicopter flight late Saturday afternoon and visual estimates from firefighters on the ground. Fire behavior the past two days has been mild, due to high humidity and cooler overnight temperatures. Rain events over the last two days have produced only small amount of precipitation on the fire and fire activity likely will increase later this week as drier weather is predicted to return.

July 27, 2014
Deer Head Fire in Rincon Mountains Continues to Grow Slowly
Tucson, AZ
– The lightning-ignited Deer Head Fire has slowly grown to 229 acres this morning. Increased humidity and a light rain have kept fire behavior mild. Many areas in southeastern Arizona received substantial amounts of rainfall last night and early this morning, while the Rincon Mountains received only a light sprinkle. Today and tomorrow observers might notice an increased column of smoke as the day progresses due to drier conditions. Also some fire activity might occur from anticipated strategic burn outs to increase safety zones for fire fighters along the northern perimeter of the fire between Mica Mountain and Reef Rock. The burnouts will be small and are in an area that was scheduled for prescribed burning later in the year. Currently, the fire is not threatening any historic structures in the Rincon Mountains.

July 26, 2014
Deer Head Fire Continues to Burn in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park
Tucson, AZ - The lightning-ignited Deer Head Fire burning in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park is estimated to be approximately 135 acres as of Saturday morning, having expanded slightly towards the east, away from Manning Camp. Fire behavior continues to be mild due to high humidity and cooler overnight temperatures. Saguaro National Park is managing the fire for multiples objectives, including using fire to achieve natural resource benefits and to reduce hazardous fuels.

July 25, 2014
Rincon Mountain District Backcountry Closures

Tucson, AZ - For the safety of hikers and campers, some trail and campground closures have been enacted. All off-trail areas within Saguaro National Park east of Douglas Spring Trail and Manning Camp Trails are also closed.

July 25, 2014
Deer Head Fire To Be Managed For Multiple Objectives

Tucson, AZ - The lightning-ignited Deer Head Fire burning in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park is estimated to be approximately 115 acres as of Friday afternoon. Fire behavior was mild due to high humidity and showers. Saguaro National Park will be managing the fire for multiple objectives, including using fire to achieve natural resource benefits and to reduce hazardous fuels.

July 24, 2014
Deer Head Fire Ignited by Lightning in Saguaro National Park's Rincon Mountains
Tucson, AZ - A lightning-ignited fire was discovered today in the Rincon Mountains, near Spud Rock Springs. The Deer Head Fire was first detected on July 24, 2014 at approximately 11:11 a.m. It is estimated to be approximately 15-20 acres.

July 14, 2014
Tourism to Saguaro National Park creates $41,150,700 in Economic Benefit Report shows visitor spending supports 569 jobs in local economy
Tucson, AZ - A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 678,261 visitors to Saguaro National Park in 2013 spent over $41.1 million in Tucson and nearby communities. That spending supported 569 jobs in the local area.

July 14, 2014
Saguaro National Park Resumes Work to Restore Native Vegetation
Tucson, AZ - With the increase in moisture brought on by monsoon rains, conditions are optimal for seasonal restoration work to resume in Saguaro National Park. The park, along with other city, county, state and other federal agencies, will be using ground-based field crews to apply herbicide on buffelgrass and improve conditions for native plants.

July 10, 2014
Arrival of Monsoon Signals Easing of Fire Restrictions in Southeast Arizona
Tucson, AZ - Effective Friday, July 11, Saguaro National Park, in coordination with state and federal partners in southeast Arizona, will life all fire restrictions.

July 4, 2014
Naturalization Ceremony Held at Saguaro National Park
Tucson, AZ - Twenty people from 20 countries became United States citizens in ceremonies held on the Fourth of July at Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District. The ceremonies were held in partnership with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

July 2014
Saguaro National Park July Program Schedule
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this summer that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural histories. Program listings also are available on the park's website.

June 4, 2014
Dry Conditions Trigger Increased Fire Restrictions in Southeastern Arizona
Tucson, AZ - Due to fire danger in Southern Arizona, Saguaro National Park will implement fire restrictions beginning Thursday, June 5, 2014. Restrictions prohibit campfires, charcoal, coal or wood stove fires and smoking except within enclosed vehicles.

May 14, 2014
Saguaro National Park June Program Schedule
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this summer that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural histories.

April 30, 2014
Dry Conditions Trigger Fire Restrictions in Southeast Arizona
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park will implement fire restrictions in both the Rincon and Tucson Mountain Districts, beginning Thursday, May 1, 2014.

April 28, 2014
Saguaro National Park May Program Schedule
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this spring that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural histories.

April 24, 2014
Saguaro National Park to Offer Summer Junior Ranger Camps at Rincon Mountain District
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park will offer its traditional Junior Ranger Camps at the Rincon Mountain District (Saguaro East) again this summer. For more than twenty years these camps have introduced young Tucsonans to the wonders of southern Arizona's only National Park.

April 23, 2014
Saguaro National Park's Restoration Plan Finalized
Tucson, AZ - The environmental compliance process for Saguaro National Park's Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) is complete, and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been signed by Sue E. Masica, Director of the National Park Service's Intermountain Region.

April 22, 2014
Friends of Saguaro National Park and National Park Foundation Announce Completion of Joint Fundraising Campaign for Saguaro National Park
Tucson, AZ - Friends of Saguaro National Park and the National Park Foundation announced the completion of a joint fundraising campaign to support the installation of new interpretive exhibits at Saguaro National Park's Rincon Mountain Visitor Center.

March 26, 2014
Saguaro National Park Offers Fee Free Weekend to Celebrate National Park Week 2014
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is joining with the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation to Celebrate 2014 National Park Week, including free entrance to both districts Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20.

March 2014
Saguaro National Park April Program Schedule Corrected
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this spring that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural histories.

March 26, 2014
Saguaro National Park to Offer Free Admission on Cesar Chavez Day; Monday, March 31
Tucson, AZ - Enjoy the beautiful spring weather in your backyard national park, with free admission into Saguaro National Park on Monday, March 31: Cesar Chavez Day.

March 25, 2014
CORRECTED Saguaro National Park April Program Schedule
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this spring that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural histories. Program Listings are also available on the Guided programs webpage.

March 19, 2014
Saguaro National Park Seeks Community Assistance to Identify Person of Interest
Tucson, AZ - The National Park Service is seeking the public's help identifying the individual in these photos. She may have information regarding several unattended vehicle break-ins and thefts which occurred in Saguaro National Park on the west side of Tucson in late February and early March.

March 19, 2014
Cactus Forest Loop Drive Work Resumes on March 24
Tucson AZ - Visitors may experience 15 minute delays over the week of March 24 and should expect the road to be closed from 5am to 8am one morning TBD

March 18, 2014
Saguaro National Park Hosts Civilian Conservation Corps Recognition Day
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is pleased to host the Fifth Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Recognition Day. The event will be held on Saturday, March 29, from 9:00am to 4:00pm in the Tucson Mountain District (west). This year the program features appearances by CCC historians; displays of photos, newspapers, and memorabilia; book signings and conversations with authors; documentaries and films about the era; and guest speakers on a variety of topics. CCC alumni are among the invited guests.

March 2014
Saguaro National Park April Program Schedule
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this spring that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural histories.

March 3, 2014
Tourism to Saguaro National Park creates $37.5 Million in Economic Benefit
Tucson, AZ - A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 634,286 visitors to Saguaro National Park in 2012 spent $37.5 Million in communities near the park. That spending supported 526 jobs in the local area.

February 24, 2014
Saguaro National Park Program Schedule for March
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this spring that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural histories.

February 13, 2014
Saguaro National Park Prepares to Open New Section of the Carrillo Trail in the Rincon Mountain District (east)
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park will open the newly re-routed section of the Carrillo Trail, located in the Cactus Forest area of the Rincon Mountain District (east) on Wednesday February 19, after the holiday weekend.

February 12, 2014
Saguaro National Park to Offer Free Admission Over President's Day Weekend
Tucson, AZ - Enjoy the beautiful spring weather in your backyard national park, with free admission into Saguaro National Park this holiday weekend.

January 30, 2014
Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District Offers Wilderness Exploration Camp Over Winter Break

Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park's Tucson Mountain District (west) will offer a three-day Wilderness Camp for young people 10 to 14 years old. The dates for the camp are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday February 20-22, 2014.

January 27, 2014
Safety Improvement Work on Picture Rocks Road will Resume on February 3
Tucson, AZ - Commuters and visitors who use Picture Rocks Road, Sandario Road, or Kinney Road could potentially face delays due to road construction starting on February 2, 2014. There will be temporary electronic signage installed during the last week of January to warn motorists of the coming traffic changes and to remind them to slow down upon entering the construction zones.

January 23, 2014
Saguaro National Park's Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment is Available for Public Review and Comment
Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is releasing a Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) on January 24 for public review and comment. The plan includes alternative actions intended to restore natural vegetation, and to mitigate negative impacts to park lands from damage caused by fire, flood, invasive species or other human causes.

January 21, 2014
Saguaro National Park is Looking for Volunteers to Beat Back Buffelgrass on Saturday

Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park will host a Beat Back Buffelgrass event Saturday, January 25th in the Tucson Mountain District (west) as part of the seventh annual Beat Back Buffelgrass Day, a coordinated region wide effort to combat this invasive weed which threatens our iconic Sonoran Desert.

January 8, 2014
Traffic Changes Around Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District (west) on January 11 for Beyond Event

Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park and Friends of Saguaro National Park are hosting a 5 mile fun run/walk on Saturday, January 11 as part of the Tucson Beyond events. This increase in pedestrian traffic will cause some delays and closures on park roads.

January 7, 2014
Saguaro National Park Hosts Allen Dart for Special Lecture on Hohokam Culture

Tucson, AZ
- Archaeologist Allen Dart, M.A., RPA, will be presenting a special program on Hohokam Culture this Friday, January 10 at 2:30pm in the Tucson Mountain District (west), Red Hills Visitor Center.

January 3, 2014
Saguaro National Park February Program Schedule

Tucson, AZ - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of hikes and talks this winter that explore the park's wonderful natural and cultural history.

Did You Know?

Gila Monster

Gila monsters are one of two venomous lizards in the world. The other is the similar Mexican beaded lizard. Gila monster venom evolved as a defensive rather than offensive weapon.