|Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum|
Located in Tucson Mountain Park and adjacent to Saguaro National Monument in one of the most pristine and lush saguaro-paloverde forests of all Arizona, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum offers spectacular wildlife viewing and mountain scenery. This world-renowned facility combines elements of a z...
Tucson Mountain Park
|Description: This is one of the most spectacular examples of upper Sonoran Desert in the state. The density of Saguaro cacti that cover the hillsides along Gates Pass Road is unique to the area. The geologic formations are visually astounding; the sheltering effects of the rocky outcroppings and wash embankments provide a reliable show of wildflowers following winter and summer rains. There are spectacular views of Avra Valley and the surrounding mountains from the Gates Pass overlook, and petroglyphs are found on some of the canyon walls.|
Wildlife to Watch: There are wildlife viewing opportunities from the parking lot trailhead and all along the network of trails. The desert landscape attracts many common Sonoran Desert species such as Gambel’s quail, white-winged dove, elf owl, Costa’s hummingbird, gilded flicker, Gila and ladder-backed woodpeckers, ash-throated and brown-crested flycatchers, Bell’s vireo, black-tailed gnatcatcher, cactus wren, black-throated sparrow, and canyon towhee. The rocky outcroppings provide habitat for desert spiny lizards, western patch-nosed snakes, black-tailed rattlesnakes, and tiger rattlesnakes. The natural seep in the wash provides an important source of water for mule deer and javelina. Arizona’s unique raptor, the Harris’s hawk, can be found here.
Special Tips: Guided walks with a focus on wildlife viewing are offered on weekends during the months of November – April along the King’s Canyon trail that enters Saguaro National Park. Tucson Mountain Park is also home to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum.
Other Activities: The park has an extensive trail system to accommodate all capabilities. Most of the roadside turnouts have a trail that leads off into the desert and often connects to the main park trail system.
Ownership: Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation
Size: 19,942 acres
Closest Town: Tucson
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: