Part of Saguaro National park is right next to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum that we had visited the day before, which was only a 20 minutes drive from our boon docking site at Snyder Hill BLM. We decided to head over to the park as a day trip to see the cacti and allow the girls to earn another badge.
The saguaro’s are truly amazing. Here are some fun facts for you: Saguaro’s are very slow growing cacti. A ten year old plant may only be 1.5″ tall. They often grow to be 40-60′ tall and can live as long as 150-200 years! Their arms make them take on person like figures in various poses. Although, unlike a person, a saguaro can have more than 25 arms. Ah, if only! With the proper rain fall, a fully hydrated saguaro can weigh between 3200-4800 lbs! Isn’t that crazy! That’s heavier than Wobbles fully loaded!! And, even crazier, their roots are only 4-6″ deep and radiate out as far from the cactus as it is tall. There is only one tap root in the center of the plant that extends down 2′. It’s amazing more of them don’t fall over!
Now that you have that under your belt, you will have a better appreciation for the pictures we have on here. So many saguaro’s in one place! We explored a 1/2 mile trail (times two because the second time around the trail the girls wanted to be scat scouts and run the trail). On the trail, every single plant we saw had sharp spikes of some sort. Man, it’s a prickly place!
The landscape here is actually quite different from that of the high desert. In the high desert the land was very barren with a sage brush or small prickly pear here or there. However, here at a lower elevation, the ground is fairly full of palo verde trees (low trees mind you), fairly tall prickly pears, saguaros and many more prickly shrubs and various cactus. I don’t think they have to worry as much here about people going off trail. If they chose to not follow the rules they would soon meet the natural pokey consequences of the desert.