While planning for an impromptu getaway to Arizona, we contemplated whether to visit Flagstaff or Tucson – both are about 2 hours drive from Phoenix – but after flipping through our national park book, we decided to head south to visit Saguaro National Park. Due to the unpredictable jet streams, we chose the hottest week in April to be there with the temperature touching 100F a few times. The temperature difference between our place and during the trip was about 50F.
We divided our trips into 2 parts: 4 nights in Tucson and 3 nights in Phoenix.
The main attraction in Tucson is Saguaro National Park, which is located in the Sonoran Desert. There are more than 300 days of sunshine annually and it is the only American desert with 2 seasons of rainfall. Saguaro National Park has the most concentrated giant Saguaro cacti population in the world. It also has the most diverse natural cactus garden in the nation. Besides the national park, we visited Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, hiked in the Bear Canyon to Seven Falls and cruise along Mt Lemmon Scenic Byway.
In Phoenix, we visited the Desert Botanical Garden, Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve and Heard Museum.
Certainly a very pleasant trip, albeit the hot weather. This is the most impressive collection of cactus we have ever seen, in terms of quantity and variety, not to mention they are all humongous and very colorful due to Spring blossoms.