Saguaro National Park

For my birthday weekend I decided I wanted to go down to Arizona to Saguaro National Park.

We went backpacking there first and hiked up to Happy Valley Campground. Our hike got off to a difficult start because we couldn’t even get on the trail thanks to about 30 cows laying on it and blocking the path. We tried to go closer to get through and one of the big males stood up and stomped his feet and made it clear we weren’t going that way. So instead we hiked through a wash till we could find the actual trail back.

Along the hike we saw these trees that I thought were really cool.

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They looked like they were covered in red wax all over them. No idea what kind of trees they are or what causes the red “wax”, but still cool! Anyone know what they are?

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Also thought these flowers were very pretty, going to have to look up what they are.

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We also encountered a rattlesnake on the way up. Thank goodness Jeb was hiking in front because he saw it and stopped in time, I probably would have stepped on it! Once it saw us it started rattling loudly and continued until we were far enough away to not be a threat. Wish I had taken a picture of it but I was pretty startled by it, and on high snake alert afterwards!

 

We then went to the Western district of the park. The park is divided into two separate districts with the city of Tucson in the middle. The western side was our favorite because it was much more densely packed with saguaro cacti.

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These weren’t even the biggest ones we saw, but still tall!

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We did the scenic drive through the main area of the park.

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One thing we enjoyed about the park was being able to buy prickly pear products. I have to confess that we bought the candy in the picture below, plus prickly pear gummy bears, prickly pear licorice, and prickly pear pancake syrup! It also tasted so good!

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Although the flowers were mostly no longer in bloom on the saguaros, the fruits were growing.

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We then did the short 0.8 mile hike to the valley overlook.

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It was 108 degrees while we were there and we definitely suffered from the heat! Even just getting out of the car felt like opening the oven door and standing right in front of it.

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At the valley overlook. So many saguaros below!

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Despite the miserable heat that we were not at all used to, we enjoyed Saguaro National Park a lot. I do have to go on my rant here though, both Jeb and I have always heard it said that in the desert like this is it is so hot but dry that your sweat instantly evaporates and so you don’t even realize you are sweating, which is why people dehydrate so easily. But… I’m calling BS on this, we were both so sweaty we were constantly dripping out there. So either evaporation doesn’t work on us or hiking in 108 degrees debunks this theory.

One thought on “Saguaro National Park

  1. Rita Snyder

    Maybe it is a little of both….you aren’t used to the heat and it probably wasn’t the best time to hike when there is no shade and 108 degrees.

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