Southwestern USA: Discover the giant cacti of southern Arizona!

If you’re charmed by the idea of spending several days among the cacti, these two destinations in southern Arizona are definitely worth including in your itinerary!

RoadLoft Arizona

Boyce Thompson Arboretum or cactus lover’s paradise.

Boyce Thompson arboretum
Boyce Thompson arboretum

One of our favourites of this trip is definitely the visit of the Boyce Thompson Arboretum located in the Sonoran Desert. It is an outdoor garden where ALL the deserts of the world are represented through different areas. You can discover the typical vegetation of the southern United States, but also of Mexico, South America, Australia, Africa and so on! There are more than 3900 different species of plants, including a multitude of cacti.

Nature lovers, needless to say that Samuel and I LOVED this visit.

Boyce Thompson arboretum
Discovered at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Plan a day to explore the entire park, as there is a lot to see. It’s definitely worth putting it on your itinerary!

Saguaro National Park, a giant cactus forest

Saguaro, Arizona
It is easy to contemplate the beautiful nature in Saguaro, Arizona.

As soon as we arrived in the region, we were surprised by the greenery of the Saguaro Park. Unlike a desert, Saguaro is more like a cactus forest! The richness of the biodiversity really surprised us.

Saguaro park
Wild turtle spotted in Saguaro Park!

The park is divided into two sections. The west side has a greater concentration of giant saguaros while the east side is higher in altitude, which influences the vegetation.

Saguaro national park
Saguaro national park, western section, Arizona

Although both parks were magnificent, we fell in love with the western section, where the cactus concentration was at its peak!

Mountain biking in Arizona
Mountain biking in the forest surrounding Saguaro Park.

It is easy to spend several days in the vicinity of these two parks, since many attractions are nearby (Desert museum, the city of Tucson, Mount Lemmon, etc.). The western section is also surrounded by national forest, so you can explore the area by bike or on foot! It’s really beautiful!

Boondocking at Saguaro
Boondocking at Saguaro. Better than Netflix!

You can also camp nearby in boondocking mode by relying on the various applications (to learn more about boondocking read our article).

Giant cactus
Filled next to the giant cactus!

Many more destinations

boondocking in arizona with roadloft
Waking up among the cactus!

Of course, the southwestern United States is full of the most diverse deserts. For our part, it was already time to slowly head east. However, there were several exciting destinations on our return trip!

sunset in arizona
Definitely one of our most beautiful sunsets!

In the next article, you will discover the Chiricahua National Monument, the White Sand National Park and the sudden change in our itinerary!