I hope you love cactuses, because my this guide on how to elope in Saguaro National Park is full of ’em! This is a desert lovers’ paradise. Both Saguaro and Joshua Tree National Parks are located in the Sonoran Desert, which means – don’t touch anything. Even if it doesn’t look spiny, it probably is! I love exploring desert landscapes and Saguaro was a treat. Saguaro National Park allows you to select anywhere you want within the parks for your elopement ceremony. This makes having someone with first hand knowledge of the area key to planning. I’ve been to both sides of this park and can’t wait to recommend my favorite areas.
Saguaro is pronounced /sah-wah-ro/. Now you know 🙂
How to Elope in Saguaro West District
This is the more well visited of the two Saguaro National Park districts. It’s located just west of Tucson, Arizona and borders on Tucson Mountain Park. The main loop of SNP West is mostly one way and includes many areas to plan an elopement. The most popular hike in the park, Valley View, is especially gorgeous at sunset. The flat, paved nature trail is so easy to access and offers great Saguaros up close. My favorite picnic area in a mountain cove features a stone cabin and miles of Saguaros stretching to the horizon.
How to Elope in Saguaro East District
It’s an hour’s drive across the city of Tucson to reach the East District. This district is actually quite different from the western half. The Saguaros are branchier, creating a more classic shape. This is the starting point for many of the longer backcountry hikes in the park. It’s less crowded, so the chances of having a private elopement ceremony are higher. Your backgrounds will have more mountain peaks and your foregrounds will be rockier than the West District.
When to Elope at Saguaro National Park
Saguaro is a parched southern National Park in the Sonoran Desert. As you’d expect, Summer is oppressively hot here, and June to August should be avoided. In the winter, it’s a fabulous place to elope. In Spring and Fall, consider planning to be active with the wildlife, at dawn and dusk. If you’ve never experienced a Sonoran Desert sunset, treat yourself! The color changing sky goes on forever! We were lucky enough to see a gorgeous bobcat at sunset in Saguaro West in January.
Where to Elope outside the Park
Like most National Parks, the lands outside of the parks are amazing too! Picacho Peak State park is a great nearby option. Tucson Mountain Park covers much of the same scenery as SNP and includes a beautiful mountain pass. If you can’t elope within the park for any reason, I’ve got more than a few backup locations in mind! The city of Tucson is vibrant and odd. Did you know you can feed ostritches, stingrays, and lorikeets and more at a roadside attraction here? I’ve got many recommendations for this area, and two other Arizona elopement guides: The Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
The Saguaro National Park ceremony permit is a whopping $100 and can be found here. Amazing adventures await! Get my custom map downloaded to start exploring below. My map has all the locations that I love and colorful photos. You can see where each of these spots are and get in touch for more of my local recommendations!