Saguaro National Park

Saguaro Cacti Tagged By Vandals At Saguaro National Park

It appears little is free from graffiti vandalism, not even age-old saguaro cacti at Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona.

Birding In The National Parks: Birding In Saguaro National Park In Summer

It’s no secret that we birders tend to do things a little differently than “normal” travelers. Valentine’s Day weekend at the sewage treatment plant? Getting up at 4 a.m. every morning of your vacation? Perfectly acceptable behavior for the seasoned birder. But Saguaro National Park in August???
Birding the Southwestern National Parks (W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series) Just in case I wasn’t aware that I very badly need to do more birding in the Southwest, a copy of Birding the Southwestern National Parks by former Park Service employee Roland Wauer arrived in my mailbox. Now I find myself checking plane fare to Las Vegas, El Paso, and Los Angeles. This may be one of the most expensive book reviews I’ve ever written.

Spring In the National Parks: Where Can You Find Wildflowers?

Spring is showing up in more and more corners of the country, which means it's a perfect time to check out what's blooming in the National Park System. Here's a quick list of some reliable sites to catch wildflowers in the weeks ahead.

Sales of Disposable Bottles Of Water And Soda Banned At Saguaro National Park

If you're planning on visiting Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona, be sure to bring a reusable water bottle, as the park has banned the sale of disposable bottles of water and soda.

Saguaro National Park Using New Technology to Deter Cactus Rustlers

Saguaro National Park is using some new technology to help deter an old-time problem—cactus poachers. Operation PIT Tag inserts tiny micro-chips into cacti to allow positive identification of saguaro cacti which have been heisted from the park. The program makes those plants less attractive targets for rustlers, since it's easy to verify that a tagged cactus is "stolen goods."

Warmer Temperatures From Climate Change Likely To Change Vegetative Landscape In Southwestern National Parks

While desert-thriving vegetation commonly is thought to love heat, too much heat can doom them. A new study into the likely impacts of climate change says higher temperatures will recast the native plants we find in places such as Saguaro National Park and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

'Tis the Season for Scenic Drives and Easy Hikes at Saguaro National Park

Winter and spring are popular seasons for visiting Saguaro National Park, and for good reason. It's a great time of the year to enjoy the Arizona desert, and two "roads less traveled" and a variety of trails offer access to fine desert scenery.

Counting Cacti At Saguaro National Park

In an ongoing effort to better understand the life cycle of saguaros, and what, if any, threats are fatal to them, Saguaro National Park officials are conducting a saguaro census in the park and are looking for help.

BioBlitz Turns Up More Than 850 Previously Undetected Species in Saguaro National Park

Gila monster, Saguaro National Park, Kurt Repanshek photo
Do you ever wonder what we know about the world around us? The somewhat recent phenomenon known as "BioBlitzes" is rewriting what we know about the natural world that resides in national parks. In some cases, what we didn't know can appear astounding.

Biodiversity Inventory Coming To Saguaro National Park in October

Saguaro National Park is well-known for its namesake cacti, but what else can you find in the park when it comes to living things? An answer to that question is coming in late October, when the park is the focus of a two-day "bio-blitz."

Fire Danger Leads To Partial Closure of Saguaro National Park

With Arizona undergoing one of its worst fire seasons ever, officials at Saguaro National Park have instituted a closure of parts of the Rincon Mountain District as a precaution.

Reader Participation Day: Where in The National Parks Do You Head To Bird, and What Birds Do You Hope To See?

Birding is one of the many popular activities in the National Park System, and by carrying your binoculars and perhaps a field guide to help you identify what you see, you quickly can expand your "life list" during a park visit. If you're a birder, where in the system do you go, and what are you looking for?

A Year in the Parks

The past year was very kind to me in terms of getting out to visit some of the incredible units of our National Park System. Here's a look back at a year in national parks.

GAO Study Says More Interagency Coordination Needed To Address Illegal Border Crossings in Southwest

Six years after a Government Accountability Office review found poor coordination between federal land managers and Border Patrol officials tasked with combating illegal border crossings in the Southwest, a new analysis finds not much has changed.

House Republicans Continue To Blame Environmental Regulations for Border Security Woes

Despite two Government Accountability Office reports that say environmental regulations are not impeding the work of the Border Patrol, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee are standing by that claim.

Creature Feature: The Desert Tarantula Looks Big, Hairy, and Scary

The tarantula's fearsome appearance belies the fact that this docile, reclusive creature is nearly harmless.

Republicans On House Natural Resources Committee Planning Big Changes For Public Lands

Fresh off their Election Day tidal wave, and energized by it, Republican members of the House Natural Resources Committee are planning big changes for public lands in the West, changes that could greatly impact national parks.

Reader Participation Day: Do You Love Fall Colors, or Spring Blooms?

During my recent hike in Shenandoah National Park along the Appalachian Trail, I came upon a tight crook in the trail that carried Ivy Creek downhill amid a flurry of gold, red, orange and yellow leaves of fall. There can be no more spectacular setting that the hardwood forests of the East. Unless it's set ablaze by the pastel daubs of spring wildflowers in places such as Glacier, Saquaro or Canyonlands national parks.

GAO Report: Environmental Laws Don't Greatly Impede Border Security In the Southwest

A nearly year-long review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office determined that while environmental regulations at times slowed Border Patrol operations in the Southwest, a strong majority of agents-in-charge "reported that the overall security status of their jurisdiction is not affected by land management laws."

National Park Mystery Photo 24 Revealed: Some Saguaros Stand Tall Even After They're Gone

Saguaro skeleton, Saguaro National Park, Kurt Repanshek photo.
Not being a frequent visitor to the Sonoran desert, when I first spied a downed and dead saguaro cactus in Saguaro National Park, I really wasn't sure what to make out of the bundle of "sticks." Only after I spied an upright bundle did I put the pieces together in my mind.
Common Southwestern Native Plants: An Identification Guide Anyone who spends time hiking in the national parks of the Southwest needs a good plant identification book. And "Common Southwestern Native Plants, An Identification Guide," is one of those books.

Reader Participation Day: Has Arizona's Approach To Controlling Illegal Immigrants Led You To Cancel a Grand Canyon Trip?

Are you rethinking that trip to the Grand Canyon or Saguaro National Park due to the approach Arizona officials are taking towards illegal immigration?

Trails I've Hiked: Douglas Spring to Bridal Wreath Falls, Saguaro National Park

Douglas Spring Trail, Saguaro National Park, Kurt Repanshek photo
For a quick, relatively easy, immersion into Saguaro National Park, the Douglas Spring Trail in the Cactus Forest of the park's Rincon Mountain District is hard to beat.
SAGU-Cactus Forest Hiking Trails.pdf262.73 KB

By the Numbers: Saguaro National Park

Cactus Forest, copyright Kurt Repanshek
This Sonoran Desert park has a split personality, both due to the city of Tucson that lies between the two lobes, and because of the two diverse habitats you'll find in the two districts.

Counting Cacti In Saguaro National Park

Much as the bison is to Yellowstone National Park, the saguaro cactus is to Saguaro National Park. Tall, spiny, and handsome, the noble saguaro was the impetus behind the creation of Saguaro National Park, and reigns today as that park's icon. With hopes of ensuring it stays that way, every decade Saguaro officials launch a "Saguaro Census" to track the health of this cacti population. And if you don't mind heat or walking, you're invited to help out.

January's Activity Calendar is Full at Saguaro National Park

The winter months are some of the best for a visit to Saguaro National Park. The heat has moderated and there's much to see. The park's rangers will make sure you have something to do, too, as they've filled January with more than a few activities to help you explore the park.

Cactus Poachers at Saguaro National Park Receive Stiff Sentences

One of the most recognized symbols of the American desert is the saguaro cactus, and that fact makes those multi-armed giants attractive targets for thieves. A tip from a concerned citizen, excellent work by rangers at Saguaro National Park and great cooperation from the U. S. Attorney's office have resulted in hefty sentences for two cactus poachers.
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