The site of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson used to be underwater. When the water and swamps retreated, a rugged landscape was left behind.
The caves filled with fossils, dinosaur bones resting in the rocks, and petrified mud still clinging to ancient hillsides make up what we call today the Sonoran Desert.
Visiting the Sonoran Desert Museum is a perfect way to gain the educational experience of a museum while staying outside!
This sunswept landscape is the backdrop of the desert museum that seeks to educate visitors about the Sonoran Desert by way of an immersive desert experience. That means that most of the museum is actually in the desert, meaning an outdoor desert loop that is part zoo, part botanical garden, and part educational experience.
A nature hike along the Sonoran Desert museum’s Desert Loop Trail is a hike through an outdoor educational campus.
It is an opportunity to view coyotes and javelinas in their natural environment, to wander through the desert gardens and the walk-in bird aviary, and to cool off in a cave with a sloth skeleton.
Schedule a visit to the desert museum around the Raptor Free Flight, an outdoor exhibition with birds of prey who spread their wings and fly untethered.
The Desert Museum is located: at 2021 North Kinney Road in Tucson inside the Saguaro National Park
Two hours for the loop. Three hours if you plan to watch the Raptor Free Flight exhibition. Check the Desert Museum website for the schedule. Winter shows are twice a day and spring shows are once a day.
Wear your walking shoes! This is an outdoor experience that could even be called a “hike”.
Get a map and chat with the friendly rangers at the entrance. They can direct you to exactly what you want to see.
Eighty-five percent of the Tucson Desert Museum is outside
General admission is $21.95
Located in the Saguaro National Park, you can visit the museum and then get your National Parks Passport stamp just down the street!