Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Walk Through A Saguaro Forest

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
February 19, 2016

Joe and I have done quite a few desert hikes in the past few years. It was love at first sight when we arrived in Tucson back in January 2013 and I saw saguaro cacti for the first time up close and personal. The desert has since had a draw for us that some will understand and others can't figure out. 

The hike we did last Friday with John and Pam was one of the prettiest saguaro forests we have had the pleasure of hiking. Absolutely amazing how dense the forest is there...

We did a lollipop trail with the stick being a combination of switchbacks and an easy climb on the Camaro Loop Trail that connects to Boulder Belt Trail, the saddle section.  The lollipop/loop portion is the Flight Path Trail. 

Right from the get go, we saw colors that we didn't see the week before.  

Could it be that spring is not far away?

The Globe Mallow is just beginning to bloom...look at all those buds.

A hint of purple from the Wild Hyacinth is always nice... 

...along with the shades of pink from  from the Fairy Duster.  

The flowers on this low growing shrub attract hummingbirds and butterflies. 

And one more, the pale yellow of the Desert Rose Mallow. It's a delicate little flower on a weak stem so it usually grows up through other plants for support. 


One thing Pam and I totally agree on and enjoy when hiking in the desert are the all directions!

Feb. 19, 2016...crested #1
Just like our other hike with Pam and John, we knew we would be in for a treat because not 1, but 3 crested saguaro could be seen on this hike with all of them being right next to the trail.

 Sometimes a saguaro produces a fan-shaped form of growth at the tip. These growths are referred to as a cresting (or cristate) and are rare occurrences. 

crested #2

When you consider how slowly a saguaro grows (a 10 year old plant will be about 1.5 inches tall) the crested ones we have seen must be many years old.  

crested #3

A crested sighting is special and sought after by many.   

We have another hike planned with John and Pam so stay tuned for our next adventure. 

Until then, let the good times roll...

and happy trails!


  1. I'm happy to see you enjoying the beautiful Tucson trails. Wonderful photos!

    1. i can't wait to see my first saguaro bloom of the year Carole!

  2. Awesome! I remain envious but excited to see each and every one of your hiking posts! ;-)

  3. There is just something about the desert and it's beauty.

  4. The first I'd ever heard of a Fairy Duster was just this past week in another full timers blog that I follow, LiveLaughRV, I have been intrigued with it since. It is unique & lovely. Does the bloom feel as soft as it looks? Also found the photos & info on the crested saguaros interesting. I had no idea they were so rare. I look forward to seeing my first one. I do have a question for you. Have you ever encountered rattlers n your hikes? Do you do anything special to avoid them? I have a fear of snakes, especially the poisonous varieties. They even give me the willies just viewing them in a picture book.

    1. Yes, the fairy duster is soft Gayle...quite showy in the desert here. And I have seen the humming birds on them. Although the hummingbirds I see are mostly on the Ocotillo blooms. About the snakes, Joe and I have only encountered one snake that slithered across the trail ( hiking) when we were in Sedona a couple of years ago. It was not a rattler and Joe said it was not poisonous. I think we have been quite lucky. Needless to say, we don't take the pups hiking because I have heard/read horrible tales of snakes and pups on the trails. I am the same...snakes and spiders give me the sillies too!

    2. I think I will take that stance too-leave our boy at home when we're on the trails.

  5. We too just love the desert, and the crested Saguaro sighting is always amazing.

  6. Being desert brats, it holds a special place for us as well. Saquaros are just wonderful with their variety of sizes and shapes - and they're so old! Wonderful flower pics.

  7. Hello Gay! You guys are quite the hikers! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and capture the desert beautifully! It sure is a wonderful time to be there. Hope you continue to enjoy your visit there especially being able to hike with Pam! Again, my heart is happy as it is filled with your wonderful news! Life is Good!

  8. You guys are just having so much fun walking in the midst of those tall green giants. And yes I agree the views out there are unbeatable.