Activities For Dogs In Saguaro National Park

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Introduction

Saguaro National park is a beautiful desert location where you should definitely plan to visit with your dog. While it can be a little dusty and hot, the park has a lot to offer when it comes to the sites, sounds and (yes) smells! Dogs are not allowed on the main trails but don't let that scare you away, there are plenty of places to bring your pup when in Saguaro National Park so don't leave your dog at home! Definitely bring them along.

Walking

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Fresh Water
6 foot leash
Collar
Activity description
As we already mentioned, dogs are not allowed on the main trails in Saguaro National Park. However, there are plenty of places to walk, some are even just as scenic, if not more, than the trails themselves. Even though there are areas of the park that are pet approved, your dog must always be on a 6 foot leash regardless of where you walk. This is to keep your dog safe from cactus, rattlesnakes and scorpions so it is a rule you'll want to follow. You can walk in any weather as even a rainy day will feel nice when out in this hot desert. A small parking fee may apply but it is worth the cost!
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1
Mica View Road
This road is about as "trail-like" as you can get without actually walking on a trail with your dog. The one and a half mile loop starts at the picnic area and wanders around lush cactus fields. Enjoy the relatively flat walk and the well maintained road that is ideal for people with dogs. This road may even be better than taking a marked trail...
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2
North Cactus Forest
This road is a nice easy walk for you and your dog. Maybe you can guess the type of scenery you will see on this walk? That's right, cactus! The aptly named area leaves no surprises but be careful of those spikes and keep your dog on a leash. The road does have good sight distance so you will be sure to see any oncoming cars well in advance.
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3
Baha Loop Drive
Not only is this roadway dog-friendly but it is also paved. If you are looking for a simple walk, just to stretch your legs, this is the one. While the scenery is still beautiful, the paved roadway cuts into the natural setting but is also quite convenient. Walk this road and you will also end up at Desert Discovery Trail, a more rustic road you and your doggy can go down.
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Photo Shoot

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Car
Treats
Camera
Activity description
As with many national parks, Saguaro National Park has so many amazing sites to see and places that can be photographed to capture the idyllic nature of the area. With so much beauty to view and capture on film, why not make a day of it and take your dog along too? While scenery shots are great, adding your dog to the photo will make it even better. Drive from photo spot to photo spot with your pup and take in the views as you travel then snap away once you arrive at your destination! Opt for a sunny day to make for better photos and be prepared to pay a small park entrance fee.
Step
1
Bajada Loop Drive
This six mile drive will bring you through some of the most dense areas of cactus forests that you have ever seen. The road is unpaved but it is very drive-able so you and your pup will make it through just fine with any kind of car. Stop anywhere you'd like for a perfect cactus photo with your dog front and center.
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2
Cactus Forest Drive
This eight mile paved road is one that you and your dog may opt for in order to get the eastern view of the cactus forest. Go in late May to June and get a few photos of the cactus flowers in bloom as well. The composition of your furry pup, a prickly cactus and a beautiful flower will look fantastic on your camera and will likely be a photo you want to blow up!
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3
Mica Mountain
Drive with your dog up Mica Mountain road and head toward the Mica Mountain Picnic area. Once there, you will be able to see the highest peak around (Mica Mountain, of course!) which will make for the perfect backdrop to your photo shoot. Cactus in the foreground, mountains in the back and your dog's furry face right in the middle - sounds like a great photo!
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Picnic

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Fresh Water
Collar and Leash
Food
Picnic Blanket
Activity description
One thing almost all dogs love is to eat. Dogs also strongly prefer to eat human food rather than their own dog food (who can blame them!). Satisfy your pup's need for human food by bringing them on a picnic and making your dog your own sandwich! There are plenty of great places to picnic with your dog in Saguaro National Park and you may even have to come back a few times to check them all out! Opt for this activity on a Sunday when your picnic won't be ruined by rain. Make your own food to save money as well which would make this activity quite inexpensive.
Step
1
Spot search
Find the perfect picnic spot for you an your dog. Consider long it will take to get there and whether or not you and your dog can walk there together (remember, stick to the main roads!). There are three main picnic areas to choose from which you would be able to drive to with your dog. Think about the view you would like as your eat as well- mountains or pure cactus, which ever you prefer!
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2
Pack
Pack your picnic basket well before heading out on your adventure. Consider the fact that your dog will be hungry just like you so you will need to bring food for your pup. Bring a blanket to put down on the ground for comfort and also some fresh water for both you and your dog. Everything else (a speaker for music, a camera, plastic cutlery) is all just a nice bonus if you have space!
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3
Enjoy
Head out to the picnic area you chose and, upon arrival, take your dog to walk around the area a little bit to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. Then, set up your food as well as your dog's food. Sit back, relax and enjoy your picnic in Saguaro National Park. Also to be sure to enjoy the time with your dog, giving them extra pets and kisses. This is, after all, a perfect place to unwind and relax on your lunch break with your dog!
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More Fun Ideas...

Sabino Canyon Recreation Area

Right down the road from Saguaro National Park is this recreation area which allows dogs throughout. Give this park a try and let your dog run freely and happily without breaking any rules!

Biggest Cactus

While in Saguaro, a fun game to play is search for the biggest cactus. Some of these cacti are hundreds of years old and quite massive. See if you or your pup can find the biggest one.

Conclusion

If you are a big fan of big cacti, Saguaro National Park is the place to visit. With towering cacti, beautiful mountains in the distance and plenty of places to walk your dog while you take in the scenery, this National park is a pure gem in the middle of the desert. Get your dog in the car and get them ready to see some of what nature has to offer outside of boring residential areas.