January events at Saguaro National Park - Tucson News Now

January events at Saguaro National Park

(Source: National Park Service) (Source: National Park Service)
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 us on Facebook. Interpretive programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Be sure to call in advance to make your reservations, as some events require them. 

Naturalist Programs at Tucson Mountain District (West District):

Jan. 4, 11, 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

Jan. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30    2:15 p.m.    What is the Reason for the Saguaro Fruit Harvest?  Talk: 30 min
For over a hundred years the Tohono O’odham have harvested the saguaro fruit every summer. Come participate in a cultural experience and learn about this enriching tradition. Wheelchair accessible

Jan. 6, 14     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 evoking emotional connections with the desert

Jan. 8, 15, 22      9:45 a.m.    Thirsty Mammals    Hike: 1 hour, ¾ mile
Sonoran Desert mammals are seldom seen, but they are present in great diversity and numbers. Where are they? How do they survive in the desert climate?  Come along to learn the answers.

Jan 12, 14, 20, 21, 23, 27    11:15 a.m. Survival Myths – Debunked! Walk: 1 hour, 100 yards 
Join a ranger in learning how to harvest water from a cactus… or if it’s just another silly myth! Wheelchair accessible

Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27    9:45 a.m.     The Plants Tell All      Walk: 2 hours, 1½ 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.

Jan. 7, 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

Jan. 3, 10, 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

Jan. 5, 12, 19, 26    3:15 p.m.    Lizards are Hot, Lizards are Cool   Talk: 30 minutes
Lizards are small denizens of the desert that are a critical component of our desert community. Find out what it means when they do pushups or exhibit other odd behaviors. Wheelchair accessible

Naturalist Programs at the Rincon Mountain District (East, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail):

January 5, 12, 26 - 11 a.m.; January 25 - 3 p.m.         Life and the Desert       Tour/Activity
Explore the basic principles and structures of life. Then, use this knowledge to investigate life in the desert to determine the forces various species have had to overcome and the adaptations those species have acquired to thrive in the desert. Accessible program

January 6         10:30 a.m.         Children’s Desert Art Class                  Activity 
Children of all ages are invited to meet our ranger/nature artist Maria at the Visitor Center to create their own desert artwork.  Art supplies will be provided.

January 11   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

January 14, 21 - 4:30 p.m.; January 28 - 4:45 p.m.    Closing Time at the Ridge View Trail   Guided Hike
Join park staff to hike up the Ridge View Trail to watch and capture the sunset. Water and a flashlight are required on this1.8 mile hike, roughly 2 hours. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153.

January 16, 23, 30        11:00 a.m.         Creepy Crawlies           Presentation
Come discover the fascinating world of snakes, insects and arachnids that live in Saguaro National Park in this 30-minute presentation. Accessible Program

January 19                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

January 20                   11:00 a.m.         Poetry Morning in the Desert    Activity
Bring an original or one of your favorite desert/nature poems to read and/or share. Or simply come to enjoy the beautiful views and words.  Reservations are recommended. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5151. Accessible program

January 26       9:00 a.m.          Douglas Spring Hike    Guided Hike
Come explore the sights along the Douglas Spring Trail, including Bridal Wreath Falls (will there be water?) and Wildhorse Tank. This is 5-mile, 4-hour hike. Sturdy hiking shoes, water and a trail snack are recommended.

January 28                   2:30 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.

January 31             5:30 p.m.              Full Moon Hike        2-mile, 2-hour Guided Hike
Explore the Sights and Sounds of the Sonoran Desert as it comes to life under the full moon.  Sturdy walking shoes, water and a flashlight are recommended. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153.

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:

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