South Loop Trail
Also approximately one-quarter mile, this trail is a pleasant walk through washes, up a slight incline and past indigenous vegetation. On this trail, you will see the Park’s largest grouping of saguaros. This is the future home of the Saguaro Loop Trail, which will feature interpretive and artistic signage explaining the saguaro’s life cycle. Although saguaros grow throughout the Park, the saguaros prefer this area because of the ideal soil conditions, climate, and rainfall in this area of the Park. Don’t miss the crested saguaro at the highest point of the loop trail. Crested saguaros are a rare mutation, occurring in one out of every two hundred thousand saguaros (books about the unique and stately saguaros are available at both Museum Shops). Most of the Park’s 265 Night-blooming Cereus are found along this trail and the North Loop Trail. The Cereus is a spindly, green cactus that looks like dead sticks or a mesquite branch most of the year. One night a year, the Cereus unfurl a spectacular, large, white, waxy flower. Many people look forward to this night and stay in touch with the Night-blooming Cereus hotline (520-575-8468) so that they can stroll paths lit with luminarias to enjoy the one night of the year when the "Queen of the Night" blooms (June or July). Wheelchair access is not available on the south Loop Trail. Again, we recommend you take water on this trek, especially if you travel it during the summer months.