Saguaro National Park Travel Guide

Saguaro National Park Travel Guide

In the heart of Arizona lies Saguaro National Park. Home to the iconic saguaro cactus, the park sprawls across two distinct districts on either side of the city of Tucson. Towering saguaros (some reaching heights of 50 feet or more!) dot the landscape, making this rocky terrain unlike any other. From breathtaking sunrises and sunsets to meandering trails and panoramic lookouts, Saguaro National Park has everything adventure-seekers and nature-lovers alike could want. Ahead, learn more about where to stay, eat, drink, and explore in Saguaro National Park.

Where to Stay:

Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

Located in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains, Hacienda Del Sol is a luxurious and historic boutique hotel. Originally established as a guest ranch in 1929, this hacienda transports guests back in time thanks to its historic southwest charm. The property has meticulously landscaped gardens, Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, and panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape. Cozy up in a room, suite, or casita, all of which are designed to mirror the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.

Credit: Sierra Ann Photography

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

For a wellness-focused experience, check into Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa. With a focus on mindfulness and well-being, this acclaimed retreat is renowned for its innovative spa treatments, mindfulness activities, and holistic wellness programs. Whether it’s participating in equine therapy, practicing yoga outside, or simply unwinding by the pool, this boutique hotel is a dreamy retreat where guests can indulge in themselves.

Where to Eat:

El Charro Café

El Charro Café holds a special place in Tucson’s heart as the nation’s oldest Mexican restaurant continuously operated by the same family. Established in 1922, this downtown restaurant is renowned for its vibrant Sonoran-style Mexican cuisine, featuring flavorful dishes made from family recipes passed down through generations. Signature dishes like the carne seca and the chimichanga have become local favorites; however, everything on the menu is as delicious as it gets.


Coronet, located in a historic building in downtown Tucson, is a European-inspired restaurant that has earned a reputation for its eclectic menu. This restaurant effortlessly combines flavors from various cuisines, creating dishes that are mouth-watering, to say the least. Enjoy meals like charred butternut panna cotta, oyster mushroom tempura, and wild boar birria bucatini, The best part? There’s a craft cocktail bar and cafe right inside the same building, so guests can enjoy a nightcap or cup of Joe.

Where to Drink:

The Owls Club

After a long day in the park, there’s no better spot to wind down than at The Owls Club. Established in 1902, this historic spot is known for its craft cocktails, extensive spirits selection, and vintage-inspired ambiance. Dimly lit interiors, exposed brick walls, and retro furnishings evoke a sense of nostalgia, making it an ideal spot for a cozy evening with friends or a date night. Be sure to try the Cliffhanger cocktail, which is a blend of gin, lemon, and rosemary.

Where to Visit:

Cactus Forest Drive

Cactus Forest Drive is a stunning 8-mile loop road that winds its way through the heart of Saguaro National Park. The road takes drivers through the iconic landscape, which is characterized by a sea of saguaro cacti. Pullouts and viewpoints along the way feature incredible viewpoints where people can see the vast desert beyond them. Pro tip: Pack a picnic and eat it in the back of your car while you overlook the park.

King Canyon Trail

For those who love to hike, King Canyon Trail is a must. This trail, located in the Tucson Mountain District of the park, lets hikers explore the diverse desert landscape. On this trail, hikers can see unique rock formations, enjoy stunning views of the mountains and valleys, and come across a selection of beautiful plants and wildlife. For those who would prefer not to hike, opt for a horseback ride instead.

Signal Hill Petroglyphs

If you like history, you need to stop at the Signal Hill Petroglyphs site. This archaeological site consists of over 200 prehistoric Native American petroglyphs that are etched into rock surfaces. These intricate rock carvings show various symbols, animals, and figures, which will give you a peek into the past.

Bridal Wreath Falls

A seasonal waterfall accessible by the Douglas Spring Trail, Bridal Wreath Falls is a refreshing destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts. The trail to the falls winds through the desert, showing off its vast collection of saguaro cacti, ocotillo, and other cool plants. As hikers go down the trail, they get to see panoramic views of the park and mountains. Although the water levels fluctuate during the year, this hike is still worthwhile for those who want to see a different side of Saguaro National Park.

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