News Release

Saguaro National Park Requests Public Comment on Planned Parking Lot Expansion in the Rincon Mountain District

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: November 1, 2022
Contact: Andy Fisher, (520) 733-5139

For Immediate Release

October 27, 2022

Contact: Andy Fisher (520) 733-5139 or



Saguaro National Park Requests Public Comment on Planned Parking Lot Expansion in the Rincon Mountain District


Tucson, AZ – Saguaro National Park is planning to improve the visitor experience in the Rincon Mountain District, including redesigning and constructing new parking associated with historic features, and is requesting public comment to inform proposed changes.


The historic Rincon Mountain Visitor Center, entrance sign, rock wall, roads, and parking areas were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s as part of the Mission 66 era, a construction style and design aesthetic indicative of the National Park Service. Since the mid-60s, visitation has increased and the change is straining the infrastructure supporting the visitor center and creating areas of potential conflict between modes of transportation, bikes, cars, and pedestrians. The planned project expands parking areas, adds restrooms, relocates and expands a bike friendly shade structure, shifts the location of the fee kiosk, and reroutes the entry road to promote additional capacity and safety for pedestrians traveling to the visitor center. This will also necessitate removing portions of the existing roads and parking lot and designing a new entrance experience from Old Spanish Trail into the park. The work would be restricted to the currently maintained landscaped area between South Old Spanish Trail to the Cactus Forest Loop Drive, south of the visitor center.


Public involvement is a key component of planning for NPS projects, particularly those with changes to historic properties and the National Park Service is required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) to assess potential effects on historic properties, such as objects, sites, buildings, districts, and landscapes that are historically significant, determine if the changes constitute an adverse effect, and propose mitigations to protect the historic fabric and quality of the features being altered. This proposed action would modify multiple components of the historic district and introduce additional modern features.


On Tuesday November 1, 2022, a Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) site will open for a 30-day public review and comment. The site will contain more information on the proposed improvement to the parking area. Public comments that focus on events, stories, construction, and experiences before 1972 would be especially important and relevant to the project. However, any substantive comments regarding the proposed repairs and improvements that would help us with the design are welcome.

Please visit PEPC to learn more about this project and to leave your comments. The comment period will close on December 2, 2022.

Last updated: November 1, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ 85730


520 733-5153

Contact Us