Saguaro National Park Facts

Saguaro National Park Facts
Saguaro National Park is a 91,442 acre park located in southern Arizona, and is divided into two districts - Tucson Mountain District (west) and the Rincon Mountain District (east). President Herbert Hoover created Saguaro National Monument in 1933, to protect part of the region, but another 71,400 acres were added in 1975, enlarging the area and creating the Wilderness Area. It wasn't until 1994 that it gained status as Saguaro National Park. Saguaro National Park is named after the cactus saguaro, which is native to the area. Today the park is popular with tourists but winter can be more expensive as summer temperatures are often very hot.
Interesting Saguaro National Park Facts:
In 1934, a year after creating Saguaro National Monument, visitors to the park was 2,500 people. In 1993 more than 800,000 visited the park. In 2012 that number was just over 634,000 visitors.
The highest recorded temperature at Saguaro National Park was 117 degrees Fahrenheit in 1990.
Saguaro National Park is home to more than 1,160 plant species including everything ranging from cacti, creosote, and other desert plants, to ponderosa pine and Douglas fir in the mountains.
Reptiles that can be found in the desert of Saguaro National Park include desert spiny lizards, western coral snakes, Gila monsters, rattlesnakes (six known species), eastern collared lizards, and desert tortoises.
Birds that can be found in Saguaro National Park include Mexican jays, northern goshawks, Gila woodpeckers, roadrunners, and yellow-eyed juncos.
Mammals that can be found in Saguaro National Park include mountain lions, black bears, badgers, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, rabbits, bats, and chipmunks and squirrels.
The saguaro cactus can only be found in the Sonoran Desert. Saguaro National Park protects portions of this 100,000 square mile desert.
The eastern region of Saguaro National Park is Rincon Mountain District, and is located the east of Tucson, Arizona.
The western region of Saguaro National Park is Tucson Mountain District and is located west of the city of Tucson.
In the Saguaro Wilderness Area, located in Rincon Mountain District, visitors can camp, and are allowed to bring mules, horses, and donkeys for their adventures.
The Wilderness Area in Rincon Mountain District has 100 miles of trails, and includes grassland, woodland, mixed forests, and desert for visitors to explore.
There are etched petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park, dating back as far thousands of years. These etchings in the rock can be seen all around the park but visitors are asked not to touch them as natural oils from hands can damage the ancient etchings.
The fruit of the saguaro cactus is harvested every year, as it has been done for centuries before explorers landed in North America. Once the national monument was created an agreement was put in place to protect the ability of the Tohono O'odham Nation to continue this harvest. Visitors that arrive during harvest can sometimes witness the harvesting and processing of the fruit.
Visitors to Saguaro National Park can camp, hike, bike, sight see, bird watch, search for petroglyphs, and visit the museum/zoo just outside the park.

Related Links:
National Parks Facts
Animals Facts
Arizona Facts
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