Saguaro National Park is named for (and home to) the nation’s largest cactus: Carnegiea gigantea, called the saguaro (pronounced suh-wahr-oh) in Spanish.
You know the saguaro, universal meme of the Southwest: the tree-like cactus of the Roadrunner cartoons that stands like a giant (growing up to 70 feet tall) with arms upstretched to the sun. Native to the Sonoran Desert, the saguaro’s blossom is Arizona’s state wildflower.
No doubt about it, the scenic Sonoran Desert is a magical place, and you’ll have a chance to explore it with your fellow Airstreamers during Alumafiesta.
Saguaro National Park is also home to a fascinating form of manmade rock art: petroglyphs, created by the prehistoric Hohokam people more than a thousand years ago.
The petroglyphs you’ll see on the Signal Hill Petroglyphs Trail were likely made during hunting and gathering expeditions, though no one is quite sure about the meaning of these ancient messages pecked into the rocky hilltop. Are they astronomical markers? Religious, or ceremonial symbols? Simply decoration? Explorer’s maps? Bygone graffiti? Shopping lists? It’s fun (and awe-inspiring) to view them and imagine what the ancient artists had in mind.
So, sign up at the Alumafiesta welcome table in the main tent for the Saguaro West Petroglyph Hike, a short, steep, half-mile climb to see dozens of these striking carvings. The petroglyph trail is rough and uneven in places, with rock steps—be sure to bring your hiking boots or other sturdy shoes to Tucson!
Other recreational outings will be on the program, too, so pack in general for outdoor adventure: footwear, sunscreen, hat, etcetera.