Avoiding the Crowds

Besides the two million commuters passing through the park every year, annual recreational visitation is about 750,000 people, with Saguaro West receiving the greater number. The park's busiest time is from Christmas through Easter. Those wanting to avoid crowds should visit at other times, although visitors who plan on hiking will want to avoid summer's extreme heat. Fall through mid-December can offer the best of both worlds: fewer crowds and lower temperatures.

Another way to avoid crowds, even at the busiest times, is to hike. Although the park gets a lot of visitors at busy times, many confine their activities to scenic drives and short walks. Within 15 minutes, you can easily leave the crowds behind.

Seasons & Climate

Summers are hot and winters comfortable, so the best time to visit, especially for hikers, is between October and April. Summer high temperatures are routinely between 100° and 115°F (38°C and 46°C), with lows generally in the 70s (20s Celsius). Visitors should also beware of occasional torrential thunderstorms in July, August, and September, which bring danger from lightning and flash floods.

During winter, high temperatures are usually in the 60s and low 70s (upper teens Celsius), with lows dropping into the upper 30s and 40s (single digits Celsius). Snow falls occasionally, is almost always light, and melts quickly. Winters are also known for periodic gentle rains, but most of the time it's sunny.

Seasonal Events

The best wildflower displays are from mid-March through mid-April. Cacti bloom a bit later -- some kinds flower from mid-April through September, although the saguaro usually bloom from late April through June.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.