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.
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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