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By the Numbers: Saguaro National Park

Cactus Forest, copyright Kurt Repanshek

It can take 35 years for a saguaro cactus to reach 6 feet in height. Kurt Repanshek photo of Cactus Forest in Saguaro National Park's Rincon District.

Saguaro National Park has a split personality, both due to the sprawling city of Tucson that lies between Saguaro's two lobes, and because of the two diverse habitats you'll find in the two districts.


Estimated number of seeds a 150-200 year-old saguaro will produce during its lifetime.


Estimated number of individual sagauro cactus plants in the park.

1,025,000 and 546,569

2010 estimated populations of Tucson Metropolitan Area in Pima County and Tucson proper, according to Pima Association of Governments.


Total acreage of Saguaro National Park.


Total acreage of the park's federally protected wilderness. Saguaro Wilderness Area was designated in 1976.


Weight, in pounds, of a large, well-hydrated saguaro, which is typically 85 percent water.

8,666 and 4,687

Respective high points (feet elevation) of the Rincon and Tucson mountain districts.

1,162 and 512

Estimated number of plant species in the Rincon and Tucscon mountain districts, respectively. This is clear evidence of the richer biological diversity of the Rincon Mountain District.


Miles of marked hiking trails in the park.


Difference, in degrees Fahrenheit, between the park's June average daily maximum temperature (99 degrees) and the January average daily minimum temperature (38 degrees).


Years it could take a saguaro to reach six feet in height under the best of growing conditions.


Miles between the Tucson and Rincon mountain districts.


Number of cacti species found in the park.


High-end speed (miles per hour) that can be reached by the roadrunners that live in the park.

10.27 and 12.30

Average annual precipitation, in inches, of the Tucson and Rincon mountain districts, respectively.


Species of rattlesnakes found in the park -- sidewinder, western diamond-backed rattlesnake, northern black-tailed rattlesnake, Arizona black rattlesnake, Mohave rattlesnake, and tiger rattlesnake. (Traveler trivia: There's another venomous snake in the park, the Sonoran coralsnake.)


Size, in inches, of the park's elf owl, said to be the world's smallest owl.


Halves of Saguaro National Park, which is comprised of the Rincon Mountain District east of Tucson and the Tuscon Mountain District west of the city.


Gallons of water you're urged to drink each six-hour period of active hiking.


Number of seeds, out of the 40 million a mature saguaro might produce over its lifetime, that germinate and grow to maturity.



I am writing an article on the Saguaro National Park and I was wondering if I could use your statistics. How did you get the estimated number on how many Saguaros there are?

You are certainly welcome to use the National Park Service statistics you find in this article when you prepare your report. However, you may want to consult the report available at this site instead. This document reports the results of the 2010 survey of saguaros in the park. The new (2010) estimate is 1,896,030 individual saguaros.

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