Southern Pacific

About a dozen miles east of Tucson, on the slopes of the Tanque Verde and Rincon Mountains, the eastern half of Saguaro National Park covers nearly 58,000 acres of rolling desert landscape. Named in honor of the anthropomorphic saguaro cactus, which here reaches heights up to 60 feet and lives as long as 175 years, the park is best seen by following eight-mile Cactus Forest Scenic Loop Drive, along which numerous hiking trails give close-up looks at the multilimbed succulents. For more information and details of hiking opportunities, stop at the visitors center (520/733-5153).