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The Saguaro National Park was created to preserve the Giant Saguaro cacti, which only grows in the Sonoran Desert. The park consists of two districts: the Tucson Mountain District, about 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of Tucson, and the Rincon Mountain District, about 20 miles (32 kilometres) east of Tucson.There are over 165 miles (over 250 kilometres) of hiking trails throughout the park, but you can just as easily just make a nice early morning or late afternoon drive along well maintained roads.
The Rincon Mountain District is the most popular and includes the land protected in the original National Monument. Plant communities at the lower elevations in the park are typical of the Sonoran Desert, while the Rincon Mountains support a temperate coniferous forest. The highest peak in this range is Mica Mountain, at an elevation of 8,664 feet (2,641 metres). While this side of the park has fewer saguaro than its counterpart they are larger in size, due to higher amounts of rainfall and run off from the Rincon Mountains. The key feature of this district is its 8.3-mile (13.4 kilometres) loop road, which provides access to the two picnic areas and the central trails.
Both districts of the park are open from Sunrise to Sunset daily (Actual times vary throughout the year).
Operating hours of both visitor centers are Monday - Sunday 9:00am to 5:00pm (Closed Christmas Day).
The park is just a 10 minute drive outside of Tucson's centre and is easily reached by tarred roads. As you approach the park, it is signposted.
As Tucson is just a short drive from the park, you can just as easily sleep in the city as there is a wide range of options.
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