Saguaro National Park (RMD): Cactus Forest Drive – Tucson AZ


The city of Tucson is flanked by two halves of the Saguaro National Park, which protects extensive areas of Sonoran Desert landscapes and the biodiverse communities of the Tucson Mountains and Rincon Mountains, two of the many “sky islands” of southern Arizona.

The eastern district of Saguaro National Park was set aside as Saguaro National Monument by President Herbert Hoover in early 1933; today, it is known as the Saguaro NP – Rincon Mountain District (RMD).  The western district of the park was originally part of the Tucson Mountain Park, a county park created in 1929; the northern section of the latter was added to the Saguaro National Monument in 1961 and when the monument became a national park in 1994, it was renamed Saguaro National Park – Tucson Mountain District (TMD).

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) did extensive improvements to both parts of the Saguaro National Park. The CCC role in Saguaro NP (RMD) was less than in the western half of the park because the former is largely roadless wilderness and the latter is more accessible to daily visitors.

The chief CCC works in the Rincon Mountain District of the park was the 8-mile Skyline Loop Road, today called “Cactus Forest Drive”.  The CCC ‘boys’  also worked on land restoration, trails, fencing and other improvements in the Rincon Mountain District, but we do not have precise information about those.

CCC camp SP-11 was located at the northwest corner of the park, roughly in what is now Saguaro Cerro Estates. No trace of it remains.



Source notes

Audretsch, Robert and Sharon Hunt, 2014. The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arizona. Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 20


Project originally submitted by Richard A Walker on November 14, 2019.
Additional contributions by Joan Greer.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Saguaro National Park
Tucson, AZ 85730

Coordinates: 32.180099, -110.733625

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