Now Is The Time To Visit Saguaro National Park If You Want To See The Desert In Bloom

Now Is The Time To Visit Saguaro National Park If You Want To See The Desert In Bloom

Spring is the ideal time to visit Arizona’s Saguaro National Park. The desert ecosystem explodes with color and life between mid-April and early-June. The 91,327-acre park is located within the Sonoran Desert, which stretches through Mexico, Arizona, and southeastern California. It is the only place on earth where the Saguaro cacti that the national park is named for grow wild. The majestic cacti tower is as high as 70 feet and can live to be 200 years old. They’ve become an iconic symbol that is synonymous with the American West. 

Saguaro National Park - Amanda Morgan
Source: Amanda Morgan

Saguaros usually begin to bloom during the second half of April. They produce large white flowers with bright yellow centers that bloom towards the tops of their stems and arms—the blooms peak by the end of May or sometimes as late as early June. Saguaros won’t be the only cactus species blooming during a spring park trip. The whole desert will be covered in brightly covered blooms. During your visit, you’ll be able to spot flowers like the bright yellow Prickly Pear, the orange Staghorn Cholla, the magenta Strawberry Hedgehog, and the bright pink Chain Fruit Cholla, amongst others. It’s the best time of year to experience the breathtaking Arizona desert in all of its glory, and there’s still plenty of time to plan an epic vacation this spring. 

Planning your trip

Saguaro National Park is divided into two sections surrounding the city of Tucson, Arizona. Tucson is a fantastic destination with mouthwatering authentic Mexican food and picturesque adobe houses. While you’re in town, make sure you stop by the iconic El Charro Cafe. In addition to being the oldest Mexican restaurant continuously run by the same family in the United States, El Charro is the birthplace of the chimichanga. When the restaurant’s founder, Tia Monica Flin, accidentally dropped a burrito in the deep fryer, she exclaimed, “Chimichanga!” and the tasty entree was born. 

There are plenty of lovely places to stay surrounding Tucson. For a romantic stay, visit the Adobe Rose Inn—a bed and breakfast in a historic adobe brick home dating back to the 1930s. There are six guest rooms with unique features like stained glass and a kiva fireplace, as well as a seasonal pool outside. 

If you’d prefer to get up close and personal with nature during your trip, the park has six designated backcountry campgrounds. You’ll have to hike 3.9-18 miles with your gear. They are not accessible by car. You’ll need to acquire a backcountry camping permit ahead of time, which you can apply for online at