The Tucson Mountain District and the Rincon Mountain District make up Saguaro National Park. The Rincon Mountain District stretches from the eastern side of Tucson, while the Tucson Mountain District stretches from the western side of the city. These two districts were created to preserve and showcase the Saguaro Cactus forests. While most think of the park as a desert park, there is much more to it than that. The well-known desert environment exists more at the park's lower elevations where Sonoran Desert vegetation is found. The Tucson Mountain District, ranging from 2,180 feet to 4,687 feet in elevation includes two biotic communities, desert grassland, and desert scrub. The average precipitation each year is about 10.27 inches, and wildlife commonly found in the area includes the desert tortoise, Gambel's quail, and coyote.
Saguaro National Park's Rincon Mountain District ranges from 2,670 feet to 8,666 feet in elevation and consists of six biotic communities. The biotic communities include mixed conifer forest, pine forest, pine-oak woodland, oak woodland, desert grassland, and desert scrub. The average precipitation per year is about 12.30 inches. More diversity in wildlife and plant life, as well as more biotic communities exist in the Rincon Mountains than the Tucson Mountains due to its peaks reaching a substantially higher elevation. Animals such as white-tailed deer, Mexican spotted-owls, black bears, and Arizona mountain king snakes live in the Rincon Mountain District because of the higher elevation. Photo: steheap/Fotolia
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