Desert Discovery Nature Trail

Saguaro National Park (West) - Tucson Mountain District, Arizona

Elevation Gain51ft
Trailhead Elevation2,427ft
Elevation Min/Max2406/2427ft
Elevation Start/End2427/2427ft

Desert Discovery Nature Trail

Desert Discovery Nature Trail is a hiking trail in Pima County, Arizona. It is within Saguaro National Park (West) - Tucson Mountain District. It is 0.4 miles long and begins at 2,427 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 51 feet. Near the trailhead there is a parking.

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

A FalconGuide to Saguaro National Park & the Santa Catalina Mountains (Falcon Guides)
Bruce Grubbs
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"This self-guided nature trail loops through a small section of desert plains and features small signs that inform you about the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. Look for several examples of dead and fallen saguaros, which reveal their inner structure. Unlike trees, saguaros are supported by a ring of woody, individual ribs just under the outer skin of the plant. The interior consists of a moist pulp, which is protected by the ribs. Unlike some desert plants, saguaros do not use deep groundwater to survive dry periods. Instead, these huge cacti have a shallow root system that collects water rapidly after rains. The entire plant expands as it stores water and gradually contracts as internal moisture is used. Because the shallow root system is incapable of supporting the plant, saguaros are literally balanced on their bases, which some people have found out the hard way after vandalizing a saguaro. In at least one highly publicized case, someone shot at a saguaro with a shotgun from close range. The cactus rocked back and forth a couple of times before falling on the perpetrator and killing him."

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Trail Information

Saguaro National Park (West) - Tucson Mountain District
Nearby City
Saguaro National Park (West) - Tucson Mountain District
Saguaro National Park
Local Contacts
Saguaro National Park National Geographic
Local Maps

Trail Log