the wandering chick
...Tucson's parks and canyons
scenic view of cactus in Sabino Canyon
Saguaro Natl Park and Sabino Canyon
A view of Sabino Canyon from the Rattlesnake Trail. Don't worry, we didn't see any.

Sabino Canyon is located northeast of Tucson in the Coronado National Forest. It offers wonderful hiking trails of all levels, gorgeous views and for those who just want to see the canyon with little walking: a shuttle that takes you up the main road of the canyon with nine stops along the way.

Equally impressive with massive fields of Saguaro is the Saguaro National Park, which is divided into two parks: East and West. Its was established in 1933 for the purpose of preserving the iconic cactus.

view of Saddleback Ridge
A view of Saddleback Ridge from the Sabino Canyon Road
Sabino Creek
at the top of the shuttle line where several hiking trails begin
Sabino Creek washes over the main road
At the top of the shuttle line where several hiking trails begin.
Lord willing, the creek won't rise. But if it does, just take off your hiking boots and go for it - carefully.
boulders near Anderson Dam
Boulders of Sabino Creek near Anderson Dam.
Sabino Creek
Saguaro Cactus
Saguaro Cactus
Saddleback Ridge and the Thimble
The little notch on the mountain top to the right is called The Thimble.
On Rattlesnake Trail
Santa Catalina Mountains
The Santa Catalina Mountains within the Coronado National Forest
Rattlesnake Trail
a Saguaro skeleton
Saguaro Cactus

Left: I'm thinking in general that the Saguaros are taller down here in the Tucson area than they are in the northern Sonora Desert.

Right: A Saguaro skeleton

a Mesquite tree
A Mesquite tree lines the path near the Bajada Nature Trail.
a crested Saguaro
A typical Saguaro is like the one on the right. The one on the left is atypical and is called a Cristate or crested Saguaro. It's not been scientifically decided what causes the mutation, but frost damage has been suggested. To the right and below are more pictures of the same one.
a crested Saguaro
a crested Saguaro

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roadrunner
A roadrunner, unfortunately behind glass, at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
mountain view from the AZ-Sonora Desert Museum
A late-afternoon view of the mountains from the AZ-Sonora Desert Museum.
roadrunner
Saguaro cactus silhouetted against the setting sun
in the Saguaro National Park West
I got some parting shots of the sun in the Saguaro National Park, West - outside of Tucson.
Saguaro Cactus in the Saguaro National Park, West
Petroglyphics on the Signal Hill Trail at Saguaro National Park
Petroglyphics can be found on a short hike of the Signal Hill Trail in the Saguaro National Park, West.
live saguaro with lots of arms
Saguaros come in all shapes and sizes. This one was kinda whimsical with all its arms entangled with each other.
Saguaro skeleton in silhouette
Saguaro skeleton
The dead Saguaro skeletons are as impressive and interesting as the live ones. This shot and the ones below were taken in Saguaro Natl Park, East.
 Saguaro skeleton
Roadrunner in Saguaro NP East
This roadrunner was NOT behind glass. He was found scurrying through the Saguaro Natl Park, East, on the Mica Trail.
The Javalina Mtn Trail
The Javelina Rocks along the Cactus Forest Loop Scenic Drive in Saguaro Natl Park, East.
the Bear Canyon Trail
Hiking the Bear Canyon Trail in Sabino Canyon National Park
field of Saguaro with mountains in background
For as far as the eyes can see, the Saguaros raise their arms to be counted in the Sabino Canyon.