TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - 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 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.
Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23 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.
Feb. 22 3:30 p.m. Silhouettes at Sundown Hike: 3 hours, 2 1/2 miles - Trek along an arroyo as the setting sun magically silhouettes the Southwest’s most famous icon – the giant saguaro. This walk is one-third sandy wash with a few rock outcroppings, one-third hill with a gentle grade, and one-third dirt road. Meet at the King Canyon Trailhead.
Feb. 8, 16 10:15 a.m. Spiny, Shady, and COOL! Walk: 45 minutes, 100 yards - Come for a short walk and discover the great variety of cacti that inhabit this unique and fascinating desert. Wheelchair accessible
Feb. 10, 24 10:15 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 photography while envoking emotional connections with the desert.
Feb. 15 2:45 p.m. Wasson Peak Moonlight Hike: 7 hours, 8 miles roundtrip - This hike climbs 1,700 feet to the highest point in the Tucson Mountains. Enjoy a 360-degree view of the sunset before descending by the light of the moon. The hike is at an easy-to-moderate pace but is considered difficult due to elevation gain and hiking after dark. Ages 12 and older. Reservations required; 733-5158
Feb. 16 4:00 p.m. Sunset Hike 4 hours, 3 1/2 miles roundtrip - This hike gains 700 feet with most of the elevation change in switchbacks near the ridgeline, where hikers will watch the sunset before descending under moonlight. Reservations required; 733-5158
Feb. 19 7:00 p.m. Moonrise Over The Mountains Patio program: 45 minutes - The patio talk is offered on the night of the full moon. Come out to the Red Hills Visitor Center and enjoy a short talk about the moon and the music of two of our talented volunteer musicians as the full moon rises above the beautiful array of Saguaro Cacti. Bring a chair and dress for the cool desert evenings. All ages. Wheelchair accessible. No reservations necessary.
- Join a ranger on her choice of a 1 – 2 mile walk to discover fascinating things about the Sonoran Desert.Sturdy hiking shoes, water and a trail supper are recommended
Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25 2:00 p.m. 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
Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26 2:00 p.m. Birds, Birds, Birds Presentation - From Hummingbirds to Trogans, come meet the common and not so common birds that are found in Southeastern Arizona and where to see them. Learn how important our public lands, like Saguaro National Park, are in protecting this wide variety of species
Feb.7, 21 11:00 a.m. Saguaro Time hike Guided Hike - What was it like to live in a Cactus Forest? What do people do in this valley today? And what about an uncertain future? Explore all three eras on a short hike to the Loma Verde Copper Mine historic site. Comfortable walking shoes and water are recommended.
Feb. 8, 22 10:00 a.m. Rincon Valley Hike Guided Hike - Join a ranger on this 2 hour, 2 mile hike to talk about the history of cattle and land abuse at Saguaro National Park, as well as current and future ecosystem health. Sturdy walking shoes and water are recommended.
Feb. 9 5:15 p.m. ; Feb. 23 5:30 p.m. Sunset Hike Guided Hike - Join a park guide to take a short hike up to a rocky overlook of the Tucson Basin. Nature will determine how good the sunset is, but bring your camera just in case it’s a famous Arizona sundown! Sturdy hiking shoes, water and a trail supper are recommended
Feb. 15 7:00 p.m. Night Walk Guided Walk - Join a park naturalist for this easy two-hour hike to explore and experience the Sonoran Desert at night. Dress for the weather. Comfortable walking shoes, water and a flashlight are recommended. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153
Feb. 17 3:00 p.m. Sunset & Moonrise Hike Guided Hike - View the Arizona sunset from a perch high in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains, then experience the magic of a walk through the moonlit Cactus Forest. Sturdy hiking shoes, water and a trail supper are recommended. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153
Feb. 19 5:45 p.m. Full Moon Hike Guided Hike - Join a ranger on this 2.8 mile, 2.5 hour hike to see the full moon rise over the Rincon Mountains. Comfortable walking shoes, water and a flashlight are recommended. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153.
Feb. 28 7:00 p.m. Star Party Illustrated Program & Activity - Join park naturalists for an introduction to astronomy and a look at the desert night sky. Telescopes and binoculars will be available. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153. 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