Tucson is a nature-lover's paradise. Forests of saguaro cactus, amazing sky islands and rugged mountains in all directions are just some of the city's natural features. Tucson's parks are the best place to explore the city's scenic wonders.
Saguaro National Park, which is divided into two sectors that surround the city on the east and west, preserves thousands of saguaro cacti, icons of the southwest.
In northwest Tucson, Catalina State Park is another scenic park that showcases the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Hiking, star-gazing and horseback riding are popular activities year-round. And in the spring, the hillsides come alive with wildflowers.
For amazing views of Tucson at night, make the climb up Sentinel Peak Park. The park, located on Tucson's west side, is the historic site of an ancient Pima village. Hikers who make the climb will be rewarded with panoramic cityscapes of the Tucson valley below. Midtown Tucson is home to one of the city's best urban parks.
Reid Park is a haven for joggers, walkers, bicyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts. The park is also home to an award-winning zoo featuring exotic species and some unusual guests. Who would have thought polar bears lived in the desert?
Finally, if you want to experience the more rugged side of Tucson, head to Colossal Cave Mountain Park on the city's east side. You'll be able to explore a desert cave and get stunning views of sky islands.