Saguaro National Park | Winter 2018

I was born in Phoenix, AZ, and that is just one of many reasons why I cannot believe it took me 27 years to come to Saguaro National Park (my 28th National Park, and one of three in the state of Arizona). Over Christmas break my family traveled to Phoenix / Scottsdale, as we often do, to spend the holidays with my grandparents, and I requested two National Parks days be included in our relatively low key itinerary.

Saguaro National Park is quintessential Arizona. The Saguaro Cactus is the symbol of Arizona desert, and a proper, remarkable one at that. Some quick facts about this incredible plant: (1) it is the largest cactus in the United States, (2) they only grow in the Sonoran desert, (3) most of the saguaros roots are only go about4-6 inches deep, but they radiate out as far from the plant as it is tall, and (4) as far as the height and distinctive shape go: "It can take 10 years for a saguaro cactus to reach 1 inch in height. By 70 years of age, a saguaro cactus can reach 6 and a half feet tall, and will finally start to produce their first flowers. By 95-100 years in age, a saguaro cactus can reach a height of 15-16 feet, and could start to produce its first arm. By 200 years old, the saguaro cactus has reached its full height, reaching upwards of 45 feet tall..." (from NPS).

I can recommend visiting in December, it is lovely. I doubt it is as nice in July. PS - don’t miss the prehistoric rock drawings (pictures at the end of the post)!

Saguaro National Park became the 52nd National Park on October 14, 1994, and its two park units surround Tucson in southern Arizona.

All pictures by Karl Magnuson
Canon 6D Mark II
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L