Thanks Dan how did u get to the west side of the park off of I 10 again Thank You According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the Plant Hardiness zone at Red Hills Visitor Center 2,553 feet (778 m) is 9b with an average annual extreme minimum temperature of 25.8 °F (−3.4 °C), and 9a with an average annual extreme minimum temperature of 23.4 °F (−4.8 °C) at Rincon Mountain Visitor Center 3,091 feet (942 m). The East district is going to offer you much more extensive hiking with 128 miles of hiking trails, including multiple back country opportunities. , The Rincon Mountain District features the 8.3-mile (13.4 km) Cactus Forest Loop Drive, which provides access to some of the trails. Popular activities in the park include hiking on its 165 miles (266 km) of trails and sightseeing along paved roads near its two visitor centers. TucsonTopia is not responsible for any injuries or problems that may arise from partaking in any of these events and activities. Parking is free and conveniently located next to the picnic sites, most of which are shaded. The park gets its name from the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea), a large cactus that is native to the Sonoran Desert and that does not grow naturally elsewhere.  A partial list of the park's mammals includes cougars, coyotes, bobcats, white-tailed deer, mule deer, javelinas, gray foxes, black-tailed jackrabbits, desert cottontails, ring-tailed cats, white-nosed coatis, ground squirrels, and packrats.  Although the volcanic rocks seen on the surface of the Tucson Mountain District are not found in the Rincon Mountain District, the crystallized granite (Catalina gneiss) from beneath the Tucson Mountains was eventually exposed on the Rincon Mountain District's surface. In 1933, President Herbert Hoover, using the power of the Antiquities Act, established the original park, Saguaro National Monument, in the Rincon Mountains. Saguaro National Park protects 91,400 acres of Arizona desert. In 1928 Homer L. Shantz, a plant scientist and the university's president, joined the efforts to create a saguaro sanctuary, but issues related to funding and management delayed the creation of a park. © 2012-2020 TucsonTopia - All Rights Reserved |, Saguaro National Park East - Attraction Guide, To take pictures of Arizona plantlife and wildlife, To partake in a picnic with family and friends, To enjoy a bit of solitude in the outdoors, August 25 (National Park Service Birthday). It’s divided into two sections: the East District (Rincon Mountain District) and the West District (Tucson Mountain District). There are approximately 128 miles of trails that wind through the desert and mountain country of Saguaro East. In 2009, Congress named it a National Scenic Trail.  The largest of the springs is at Manning Camp, high in the Rincons. Meanwhile, the West district feels much more removed from civilization and tucked into true wilderness. The volcanic rocks on the surface of the Tucson Mountain District differ greatly from the surface rocks of the Rincon Mountain District; over the past 30 million years, crustal stretching displaced rocks from beneath the Tucson Mountains of the Tucson Mountain District to form the Rincon Mountains of the Rincon Mountain District.  This western district of the monument was carved from Tucson Mountain Park, managed by Pima County. , The wide range of habitats in the park supports a diverse population of birds including some, such as the vermilion flycatcher and the whiskered screech owl, uncommon elsewhere in the United States.  Volcanic rocks exposed in and near the Tucson Mountain District are remnants of these events.  Angling across the Rincon Mountain District from southwest to northeast is a segment of the Arizona Trail. Consider Cactus Country RV Resort (approximately 10 miles south).  During annual inventories in 2011 and 2013, hundreds of scientists and thousands of volunteers identified 389 species of vascular plants, 25 of non-vascular plants, and 197 species of fungi in Saguaro National Park. The park was first created to protect and preserve the giant saguaro - North America's largest cactus (plus, many other kinds of cactus - including barrel, cholla, and prickly pear).  The name Tucson derives from Papago-Piman words cuk ṣon [ˡtʃukʂɔn], meaning dark spring or brown spring. The park is divided into two districts: one that lies about 20 miles east of the center of Tucson, and another that lies about 15 miles west of Tucson. Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo.  Runoff from a nearby spring, the largest in Rincons, provides water for the livestock. Bicycling is allowed on the 8.3-mile Loop Drive, as well as on two trails within the park. The Signal Hill Trail, which begins at the Signal Hill Picnic Area along the Bajada Loop Drive, leads to an area with dozens of examples of the 800-year-old rock art. After passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, the arrival of the railroad in 1880, and the end of the Apache Wars in 1886, homesteaders and ranchers established themselves in the Tucson and Rincon Mountains, and miners sought silver, copper, and other valuable ores and minerals.  The most common rock type in the Rincon Mountains, this banded gneiss is visible in the Rincon Mountain District at sites such as Javelina Rocks along the Cactus Forest Loop Drive.  Other ancient rocks, 1.4-billion-year-old altered granites, form much of Tanque Verde Ridge in the Rincon Mountain District. , Manning Camp Campground is the main staging area for firefighters, trail-maintenance crews, and scientists working in the Rincon Mountain District. In this article, I will give you a detailed comparison between the two Saguaro National Park districts and highlight some of the strong points of each park. Much later, about 600 million years ago, shallow seas covered the region around present-day Tucson; over time that led to deposition of sedimentary rocks—limestones, sandstones, and shales. Earlier residents of and visitors to the lands in and around the park before its creation included the Hohokam, Sobaipuri, Tohono O'odham, Apaches, Spanish explorers, missionaries, miners, homesteaders, and ranchers. This loop drive is shorter than the one above and feels less developed. Here, you will find some large boulders to climb up on that offer exceptional views for a sunset. , In 1961 President John F. Kennedy—encouraged by Stewart Udall, an Arizonan who was then Secretary of the Interior—added 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) of cactus lands in the Tucson Mountains to the monument. Of these, 21 were found in the Tucson Mountain District and 29 in the Rincon Mountain District. There are no campgrounds accessible by road in the park, but you can venture out into the desert and go "backcountry camping" at 6 designated campgrounds located within the Saguaro Wilderness area. But if you really want to get up close and personal with these, I would go to the West district because the West district has a higher concentration of Saguaro cactus. Why was Saguaro National Park created? If you are just passing through and/or have never been to Arizona, we recommend Saguaro National Park WEST due to the fact that it has a larger "population" of saguaro cacti. That said, ANY time of day is a good time to be outdoors.  Their total combined area in 2016 was 91,716 acres (37,116 ha). Trail riding is also permitted on the shared-use 2.5 mile Hope Camp Trail, located off of Camino Loma Alta at the south boundary of Saguaro East. UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Vehicle permits are $20; the permit admits one vehicle and all its passengers. Both districts of the park are open to vehicles from sunrise to sunset daily. Depending on the time and day of your visit, you may see some (or none) of the above animals. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy added the Tucson Mountain District to the monument and renamed the original tract the Rincon Mountain District. , Spanish explorers first entered Arizona in 1539–40. The Loop Drive of the West District (Bajada Loop Drive) is on a five-mile graded dirt road and is mostly one-way.  Mining in the park continued intermittently through 1942, while ranching on private in-holdings within the park continued until the mid-1970s.  The rocks under the fault, the lower-plate rocks, were eventually displaced 16 to 22 miles (26 to 35 km) east-northeast relative to the rocks above the fault, then uplifted, domed, and eroded to form the Santa Catalina and Rincon mountains visible today. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.  Cultural resources in the park include more than 450 archeological sites and more than 60 historic structures. Refunds for cancelled camping permits are not available, but camping trips may be rescheduled within the next 2 months at no additional cost.  The schist is exposed in the Rincon Mountain District along a dry wash off Cactus Forest Loop Drive. The creek is a tributary of Pantano Wash, which crosses Tucson from southeast to northwest to meet Tanque Verde Wash. It admits the purchaser and any accompanying persons in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle or the pass holder and three persons (16 and older) where per person entrance fees are charged. I think that most visitors should try to get out to both parks and check them out if they can. Also note that if you get admission into one park, it will be good for the other as well.  Tank or Tanque refers to a small artificial pool behind a dam that traps runoff in an existing natural depression.  The Rincon Mountain District is open to wilderness camping, which requires a permit, but no overnight camping is permitted in the Tucson Mountain District.