TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of walks and talks that explore the park’s wonderful natural and cultural histories. Program listings also are available on the park’s website, www.nps.gov/sagu, or visit them on Facebook.
Interpretive programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Program schedules are subject to change; visitors should call the visitor centers for updates or reservations.
Programs are offered on most days in the morning at 10:15 and/or 11:15, and in the afternoon at 2:15 and/or 3:15 and last 30 to 45 minutes. Topics include mountain lions, lizards, coyotes, javelinas, kangaroo rats, insects, birds, survival strategies, the saguaro cactus, and other topics related to the desert. All programs are subject to change. Call the visitor center at (520) 733-5158 for updates the day of the program.
Oct. 17, 24, 31 10:15 a.m. Mountain Lions: Beyond the Myth Talk: 45 minutes
Envision a puma stalking its prey, then uncover the true nature of this elusive but essential predator. Misunderstood, maligned, and nearly eradicated by settlers, the cougar remains threatened by human encroachment. Wheelchair accessible
Oct. 14, 21, 28 3:15 p.m. Cooking With Prickly Pear Talk: 30 minutes
Learn how you can incorporate prickly pear into your diet. This program will show you how to collect and prepare prickly pear. Prepare for a sweet treat! Wheelchair accessible
Oct. 11, 13, 18, 25, 10:15 a.m. Living With Giants Talk: 45 minutes
The saguaro celebrates events and faces challenges throughout its life. A biologist explains how it provides shelter and substance for wildlife; when it flowers; its growth patterns; and how it fights for survival against drought, lightning, frost, and other dangers. Wheelchair accessible
Oct. 16, 23, 30 2:15 p.m. Raptors! Talk: 30 minutes
Southern Arizona and the Sonoran Desert Region are renowned for the large variety of animal and plant species, especially birds, that can be found in the area. Among the most fascinating of those are the raptors, top predators of the avian world, who either live here year-round, or migrate through the area. Wheelchair accessible
Oct. 19 10:15 a.m. and Oct. 13, 20, 27 2:15 p.m. Creepy Crawlers: The Silent - Majority Talk: 30 minutes
Learn about some of our most feared and misunderstood arthropods who call this park home. Come discover how essential they are for our desert community and why we shouldn’t fear these mostly harmless creatures. Wheelchair accessible
Oct. 22 10:15 a.m.; Oct. 24, 31 11:15 a.m. Picture This. Life Through A Different Lens Talk and Walk: 45 minutes.
Experience the desert from a whole new view with this interactive photography program; designed to present the basics of photoghaphy while envoking emotional connections with the desert.
Oct. 20, 27 9:45 a.m. The Plants Tell All Walk: 2 hours, 1 1/2 miles
Plants are the foundation of the web of life. Join a park naturalist to learn the secrets of what ties the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert together. Plant survival, insects and spiders, birds and mammals -- nothing is off limits for discussion on this discovery trek through the desert. For this moderate walk, closed-toed shoes, a hat, and water are required.
October 13, 20, 27 1:00 p.m. The Point of the Matter is Cactus Presentation
Cacti are uniquely equipped to thrive in the desert environment and every year bloom with spectacular flowers. We will look at the ones in Saguaro NP using a stunning photo gallery and learn a few of their uses for those living here and beyond. Accessible Progra
October 12 & 26 3:00 p.m. A Century of Tales Presentation
Join us as we review a century of fun and interesting stories from those who lived and worked in what today is Saguaro National Park. Accessible Program
October 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31 10:00 a.m. Sonoran Lifestyles 1-Mile Guided Walk
Join a park naturalist on this 2-hour, 1-mile walk to discover how plants and animals adapt to life in the desert. Comfortable walking shoes and water are recommended.
October 15, 22, 29 2:00 p.m. The Adventures of Thelma the Tortoise Presentation
Go on a fantastic trip across the Sonoran Desert with one adventurous tortoise who called Saguaro National park her home – until she set her eye on farther horizons! Accessible Program
October 17, 24, 31 2:00 p.m. What’s New at Saguaro National Park? Presentation
Saguaro National Park is best known for its variety of cactus, including the giant Saguaro. Join park staff in the visitor center theater to take a look at the Rincon Mountains and the new plant species recently discovered up there. Accessible Program
October 19 3:00 p.m. Creating Saguaro National Park Presentation
Saguaro National Park has a unique and interesting history. This theater presentation will highlight the commitment, compromise, and decisions that created the Park. Accessible program
October 25 & 28 10:00 a.m. Meet the Saguaro Garden Walk
Get to know the world’s most famous cactus – and learn its fascinating life story in this place where we “celebrate saguaros”! Accessible program
October 28 2:00 p.m. The Changing Cactus Forest Presentation
Change is constant – and accelerating – in the area of Saguaro National Park called the Cactus Forest. We’ll take a look at the forest then and now, and consider how the future will shape what your grandchildren see here. Accessible Program
October 30 10:00 a.m. Desert Botany 101 Garden Walk `
Join a park naturalist on this fitness hike to explore scenic Saguaro National Park. Sturdy hiking shoes, water and a trail snack are recommended. Accessible program
October 30 2:00 p.m. Cattle & Cactus 1.5 Hour Auto Tour
Drive the Cactus Forest Loop with a ranger to discuss the changing ecosystem after cattle grazing ended and as the climate changes. Accessible Program
Both visitor centers are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except Christmas Day.
- Red Hills Visitor Center (Saguaro WEST) - 2700 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743; (520) 733-5158
- Rincon Mountain Visitor Center (Saguaro EAST) - 3693 South Old Spanish Trail Tucson, AZ 85730; (520) 733-5153
For more information about Saguaro National Park and some of its partners, Friends of Saguaro National Park, Western National Parks Association, and the Rincon Institute, visit these websites: