Picture Rocks Road
East of Saguaro National Park West
After a few chilly months by the fire, the desert rewards Tucson's patience with a fireworks show in the form of wildflowers. Bright blooms of owl clover, Mexican gold poppies, penstemon and bluedicks (yes, that's what it's called) crop up in every nook and cranny. A particularly picturesque enclave can be found at the eastern edge of Saguaro National Park West, along Picture Rocks Road (pull into the parking lot just after the crest of the pass). Every year, the mix is a little different, depending on rainfall, temperatures and timing; sometimes the showiest flowers are on the hillsides, sometimes they're along the southern roadside. The location is far enough out of town that the typical landscape exotics haven't completely taken over--yet--so be sure to bring your Arizona plant field guide, and enjoy the show!