Red Rock Canyon State Park in Arizona
Landscapes worth seeing
According to acronymmonster.com, Red Rock Canyon in Arizona in the Southwest of the United States, near the city of Sedona and west of Las Vegas, is world-renowned by photographers and painters. Red Rock Canyon has served as a backdrop to numerous Hollywood classics of yesteryear. The Red Rock Canyon State Park is a 286-hectare nature reserve with landscapes that are worth seeing and flora and fauna that are worth protecting. The area of the state park consists not only of red-colored rock formations and red sand, but also of lush green meadows with myriad flowers and herbs in spring, areas of juniper bushes and a large number of evergreen shrubs and low trees, which are called Manzanita.
Red Rock Canyon – rocky landscape in Arizona
The most important element of the state park is the Oak Creek Canyon. Oak Creek meanders through the canyon and draws a green ribbon in the landscape. Creek means stream. The humid regions are densely overgrown with trees and numerous bird species find shelter and food there. Several species of fish live in the creek. Some smaller reptile species have chosen the moist, rocky areas at Oak Creek as their habitat. In the dry regions of the protected area, desert-like vegetation prevails.
Red Rock Canyon – Visitor Center
The area was in private hands until 1991 and was not open to the general public. The unique landscapes were only made available to the public after the State of Arizona bought the land of today’s State Park. In the visitor center of the Red Rock Canyon State Park there are alternating exhibitions worth seeing. It is also possible to attend lectures on the history of the region. Of course there are also souvenirs for sale. Access to the state park is not free.
Prickly pear cactus in front of a red rock face
Animals in Red Rock Canyon
The largest animals found in the region are mule deer, cougar, wild boar, lynx and coyote. Some species of lizards feel comfortable in the humid regions. In addition to tarantulas, black-tailed rattlesnakes roam the rocky, arid regions of the state park in summer. Bird life is at home with a great many species in Red Red Canyon State Park.
Leisure activities – hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking
Hiking in the Red Rock Canyon region is not without its dangers, especially in summer. Apart from perhaps biting reptiles and hissing pumas, the hiker should always carry sufficient water supplies and always have up-to-date maps available. There are a total of 10 hiking trails in Red Rock Canyon State Park, which lead nature lovers to the most beautiful places in the state park. The area around Oak Creek Canyon is also very popular with mountain bikers. You can move more leisurely through the region on horseback.
Impressively colored rock formations near west Sedona
Tours are available for ornithologists to observe and interrogate the state park’s birdlife. When the birds are migrating, numerous bird species that do not otherwise breed there take a break to strengthen themselves for their onward flight or just to rest. For camping enthusiasts, several campgrounds are available in Sedona for both tents and recreational vehicles (RV’s).
Saguaro National Park in Arizona
In the realm of cacti
Saguaro National Park is located in the US state of Arizona. Every year over 600,000 visitors visit the protected semi-desert region. The area of the national park is 354 km². The protected area was not established until 1994. The national park had previously been designated as a US national monument in 1933. The Saguaro cacti, which are widespread in Saguaro National Park, gave the protected area its name.
Entrance to Saguaro National Park with no saguaro cactus
The protected region is located in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona near Tucson and extends south to the border with Mexico. More specifically, Saguaro National Park is located in the eastern part of the Sonoran Desert.
Saguaro cacti in the west of the park
In the western part of the Saguaro National Park you will find the largest number of Saguaro cacti. These cacti can grow up to 15 meters high and live up to 150 years. A typical desert climate prevails in Saguaro National Park. During the day it gets very hot – but it gets very cold at night.
Species-rich desert biotope
The biodiversity in the Saguaro National Park in the desert is amazingly high. Around 1,000 plant species have been identified within the national park. Other well-known cacti in the national park are the Cholla cacti. There are also countless flowers and shrubs such as the octillo and the mequite bushes in the national park.
Saguaro – columnar cacti
In the mountainous regions of the national park there are juniper and pine stands. The larger mammals of Saguaro National Park are coyote, deer and collared peccary (wild boar).
Roadrunner – Speedy’s home
Over 200 different bird species have been counted in Saguaro National Park. One of the park’s most peculiar birds is the roadrunner. This bird moves mostly continuously, it is not a good flyer. Reptiles, amphibians, lizards, lizards and countless species of insects have been found in Saguaro National Park. These include the Gila beaded lizard, the desert iguana, also turtles, snakes, spiders and scorpions. Woodpeckers, birds of prey and various species of hummingbirds also live in Saguaro National Park.
Storm and rain in summer
It can get very hot in the national park from spring to late summer. The Saguaro National Park owes its enormous biodiversity to the Pacific Ocean in the west. In summer, rain clouds and sometimes gigantic storms from the Pacific move over the national park and discharge enormous amounts of water. Rushing streams suddenly appear in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. There are no higher mountains between Arizona and the west coast, so the rain clouds can travel far inland.
Trail through Saguaro National Park
The sweet fruits of the cacti
In summer to late summer, delicious fruits ripen on the saguaro cacti and the prickly pear cactus. Many animals are just waiting for the “harvest time”. Birds, small mammals and also the desert wild boar then feast on the fruits of the cacti. Numerous animal species build their nests in the middle of and on prickly cacti in order to have protection from predators.