A visit to the west unit of the park also puts you close to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is more of a zoo and botanical garden than it is a museum. This is one of the most fascinating attractions in the entire state and should not be missed by anyone interested in learning about the flora and fauna of this desert region.
Although cacti are the quintessential symbol of the desert, no desert is complete without its oases. On the northeast edge of Tucson, you'll find a prime example of a desert oasis. Sabino Canyon, which lies at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains, hides within its rocky reaches a year-round stream that is a magnet for desert wildlife, including numerous bird species. The canyon is also a popular place for Tucsonans to cool off on hot summer days. A tram operates within Sabino Canyon Park, and the park's trails and paved road are very popular with hikers and joggers.
Roughly 150 miles west of Tucson lies Organ Pipe National Monument, a preserve for large stands of organ pipe cactus. These cacti are close relatives of saguaros, but, instead of having a single trunk, organ pipe cacti have many trunks that vaguely resemble, you guessed it, the pipes of an organ. These cacti are more sensitive to frost than saguaros, and consequently reach the northernmost limit of their range here along the Mexican border.