We had a wonderful day exploring the Saguaro National Park and other parts of Tucson. The park is made up of two districts, Saguaro West on the west side of Tucson, and Saguaro East, east of the city. The two districts are about thirty miles apart, and together encompass over 91,000 acres. Both districts have visitor centers, scenic drives, trails, and picnic areas. We visited Saguaro West. Saguaro West, called the Tucson Mountain District locally, is 15 miles west of downtown Tucson and includes the Red Hills Visitor Center, the six mile Bajada Loop Drive, hiking trails, and five picnic areas. The Red Hills Visitor Center has nature exhibits, audio-visual programs, a gift shop, and ranger-led nature hikes and interpretive programs.
I purchased a nice plastic covered bird list for the area. They also had everything anyone can think of made of cactus. We watched a cool video about the area and learned a lot. I took pictures of all the info for those who want to read them. We had hopes of seeing a Javelina. We have never seen one before, but we didn't have any luck. They also told us about 6 species of rattlesnakes in the park. After hearing that, I knew I would NOT be walking on any of the walking trails. :-) We rode all though the awesome park and took pictures from the car.
After the park, we did a bit of touring in Tucson. I was really surprised to see Old Tucson Studios right down the road from our campground. Built in 1939 for the movie Arizona, Old Tucson has been the setting for more than 300 movies and TV productions including John Wayne westerns Rio Bravo and McLintock and classics like The Three Amigos and Tombstone starring Kurt Russell. They even filmed parts of Little House on the Prairie. We tried to go in but they were closed for filming. We would love to come back to this area and spend a month or so. We enjoyed our time here much. We will be driving to Yuma in the morning. Check back later for more from Arizona.