We visited Saguaro East-Rincon Mountain District. This is a healthy saguaro forest at the foot of the Rincons, along with a variety of other desert communities. We drove the Cactus Forest Drive, an eight-mile scenic drive winding through saguaros and other varieties of Sonoran Desert life. There's also miles and miles of trails, but we didn't hike on this visit. We pulled off the road many times, and stepped out of the car for incredible views of the desert and mountains. It is overwhelmingly beautiful!
These photos will give you a great overview of the desert:
Barrel cactus with fruit. These cactus always lean towards the south, a great help if hiking!
A view along the scenic drive.
Ocotillo cactus, looking like a dead plant, but it gets covered with small green leaves, with bright orange flowers at the tip of each stalk.
Palo verde tree with clumps of mistletoe attached.
Prickly pear cactus.
Baja Fairy Duster.
Staghorn cholla with the dead trunk and internal ribs of a saguaro.
Jumping cholla and ocotillo cactus with Rincon Mountains in the background.
This is a must-see place!