During the second day at Picacho Peak State Park in Arizona, I told the ranger in the ranger station that I never expected to see a saguaro forest in my lifetime. Modestly, he replied, “This is nothing. Have you seen the two National Saguaro Parks outside of Tuscon?” We had just driven through Tuscon the day before. I didn’t even know that either of these parks existed or that there were any other parks outside of Tuscon – Saguaro National Park and Saguaro National Park East and others. No wonder Tuscon is such a tourist destination.
I wasn’t disappointed that my first saguaro forest wasn’t the biggest or best. Saguaro cactus everywhere. Behind our campsite.
Up mountain slopes and across ridges.
I was even more surprised to see saguaros blooming. I should have expected them to flower like other cactus I’ve seen. Spectacular and big flowers.
The blooms impressive and mostly appear around the ends of arms or heads.
It is hard to get a sense of the scale of these cactus until you stand next to one of the larger ones. Just eyeballing this picture, I would say the cactus is at least three times my height.
In addition to saguaro blooms, I also saw prickly pear cactus blooming.
The bathhouses in the park are clean and modern. Potable water is available at the dump station and at the RV sites. Shore power is also in most sites. There was WIFI in the area but it didn’t appear to be free. We had no trouble with Verizon or AT&T cell service.
- West on I-10
- West on I-8
- North on AZ-85
- East on I-10
- North on US-93
- West on I-40
Arizona Highway 85 has some extended steep inclines which may cause problems for vehicles near or above their rated capacities
Hope to see you on the road ahead!