May events at Saguaro National Park - Tucson News Now

May 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 this winter that explore the park’s wonderful natural and cultural histories. Program listings also are available on the park’s website,, 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):

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, unless noted otherwise.  Topics include mountain lions, lizards, coyotes, roadrunners, javelinas, kangaroo rats, insects, flowers, birds, plant and animal survival strategies, and the saguaro cactus.

May 10, 24  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.

May 14, 21  3:15 p.m.   Cooking With Prickly Pear     Talk: 30 minutes     
Learn how you can incorporate prickly pear into your diet. A live cooking demonstration will show you how to prepare and cook prickly pear. Prepare for a sweet treat! Wheelchair accessible

May 11, 18, 25 11:15 a.m. also May 13, 20, 27 3:15 p.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.

May 13, 19, 20, 26, 27  10:15 a.m.   Spiny, Shady, and COOL!  Walk: 30 minutes, 100 yards
Come for a short walk and discover the great variety of cacti that inhabit this unique and fascinating desert.

May 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. 

May 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.

May 17  10:15  a.m.     Sonoran Secrets to Desert Survival     Talk & Walk: 60 minutes, 200 yards
Take a short stroll and identify the most common hazards hidden in the desert, uncover survival strategies of native plants and animals, and acquire practical tips to ensure your safety, particularly in warmer temperatures. Wheelchair accessible.

May 11, 18, 25  3:15 p.m.   Kangaroo Rat: Super Survivor     Talk: 45 minutes
Learn about the remarkable behavioral and physical adaptations these rodents possess that allow them to survive harsh desert environments. Find out how this nocturnal animal escapes predators, evades heat, and endures aridity. Wheelchair accessible.

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

May 30        2:00 p.m.    Exploring the Saguaro Wilderness        Presentation
Saguaro National Park includes over 70,000 acres of wilderness within its boundaries. Explore what’s “up there” with a park naturalist.     Wheelchair accessible    

May 10, 17, 24    10:00 a.m.    Monsoon Rains in the Desert        Easy Walk
Join a park naturalist to learn the vital role monsoon rains play in the lives of Sonoran Desert plants, animals and humans. Wheelchair accessible

May  24    11:00 a.m.    The Point of the Matter is Cactus    Presentation
May 13     1:00 p.m. 
Cacti are much more than strange plants with spines. They are uniquely equipped to thrive in the desert environment, and every year bloom with spectacular flowers. This theater presentation will highlight these survival marvels with a beautiful photo gallery. Wheelchair accessible

May 17, 24, 27    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. Wheelchair accessible

May 19, 21, 26, 28    2:00 p.m.    National Parks: The Second 100 Years    Presentation
Celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary with a tour through time. We’ll share history and scenery from every corner of the country, going back 100 years and more! Wheelchair accessible

May 27  1:00 p.m.             A Sticky Situation at Saguaro        Presentation
May 17  11:00 a.m.
Here at Saguaro National Park East we have over thirty species of cacti and each is beautiful in its own way. Finding them all is hard, but we will look at them in a stunning photo gallery and learn a few uses these plants have for those living here and beyond. Wheelchair accessible

May 10 & 21                  1:00 p.m.        Flash, Whoosh, Gush &Growth: Monsoons     Presentation
May      20            11:00 a.m.
The summer heat and humidity bring the mighty and sometimes destructive monsoon rain. Saguaros, toads, and others depend on these drenching afternoons to begin a new season of life in the dry desert. A fabulous video opens this theater presentation.  Wheelchair accessible
May 26        7:00 p.m.    Night Walk        1 mile 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, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring water and a flashlight.  As space is limited, advanced reservations are required, and can be made by calling (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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