Having moved into Tucson, the second-largest city of the Sonoran desert, just a week ago for Chrissy’s first ever travel nursing assignment, we realized we had to get out to Saguaro National Park. The park is actually composed of the Tucson Mountain District and the Rincon Mountain District, straddling Tucson on the west and east, respectively.
We headed out to the Rincon Mountains, to hike in their shadows. The actual mountains rise up to a peak of over 8,000 feet at Mica Mountain, but we stuck with a more manageable introduction of sorts to the Saguaro cactus-studded landscape of the low-elevation Sonoran desert.
I know that I can’t wait for the chance to climb, for instance, Tanque Verde Ridge, to an elevation of over 6,000 feet–but for today we stuck on the Loma Verde Trail, ‘mirin’ all the cholla (which the Tohono O’odham people used to harvest buds from), Palo Verde trees, Mesquite, and, of course, several types of cactuc, most notably the Giant Saguaro! This trail took about two hours and brought us about 4 miles.