Wild Arizona: Saguaros, and Lots More Cactuses

Cheryl Caffarella Wilson | Saguaro National Park East

Cheryl Caffarella Wilson | Saguaro National Park East

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each afternoon in September, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we’re spotlighting three of Arizona’s 90 wilderness areas. For more information about any of the state’s wilderness areas, visit Wilderness.net, a collaboration between several wilderness-related organizations. The information here comes from that site and the wilderness areas’ managing agencies. Always contact the managing agency before visiting a wilderness to learn about any restrictions that may be in effect. To see our entire Wild Arizona series, click here

Saguaro Wilderness
Most of the eastern and western portions of Saguaro National Park are included in this wilderness, which is split into portions east and west of Tucson. As you’d expect, saguaros are plentiful here, but so are other cactus species, desert fauna and opportunities for day-hiking and backpacking.

Location: East and west of Tucson
Established: 1976
Size: 70,905 acres
Managed by: National Park Service
Contact: Saguaro National Park, 520-733-5153 (East), 520-733-5158 (West) or www.nps.gov/sagu

Redfield Canyon Wilderness
The boulder-strewn Redfield Canyon features several side canyons that are good for hiking. The water-rich side canyons of this wilderness are a powerful draw for photographers and backpackers. Be advised that much of the land to the west is privately owned, so you’ll need to get permission to cross it.

Location: Northeast of Tucson
Established: 1990
Size: 6,600 acres
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Safford Field Office, 928-348-4400 or www.blm.gov/az

Rawhide Mountains Wilderness
This wilderness features several washes and canyons that are good for extended backpacking trips — there’s year-round water in the area. The Bill Williams River cuts through this wilderness, dividing the low Rawhide Mountains from the higher, more scenic Buckskin Mountains.

Location: East of Parker
Established: 1990
Size: 38,470 acres
Managed by: Bureau of Land Management
Contact: Lake Havasu Field Office, 928-505-1200 or www.blm.gov/az

12 Comments

Filed under Wild Arizona

12 responses to “Wild Arizona: Saguaros, and Lots More Cactuses

  1. This is one of the most distinctly different places in the world I’ve been and totally fascinating. great to see it again. thanks

  2. MiMi Fournier

    What happened to the quintissentially correct : cacti?

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