Project Information


The purpose of the project includes designing a parking lot in Saguaro National Park in the Cam-boh Picnic Area that will be adequate for trail visitors, including visitors with horse trailers, trucks, and other vehicles. In order for the trail to serve its intended purpose for the users and increased visitation, an evaluation of the site’s current parking lot needs to be completed and a new lot must be designed to suit the client’s needs.

The primary objective is the assessment and design of a parking lot for the Saguaro National Park. There is a need for the design and implementation of a parking lot which will provide a safe area for visitors to the park, as well as, ensure the natural desert is preserved by preventing parking in undesired areas. The client is requesting a revision to the current site because of the following: limited parking area for vehicles and buses due to visitors parking on the shoulder of the road, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility parking, and lack of clear signage.


In the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) performed extensive improvements to Saguaro National Park focusing their efforts on the western half of the park to make the park more accessible to daily visitors. The CCC’s improvements consisted of land restoration, erosion control, access roads, and water supply, as well as, creating facilities for park visitors that included campgrounds, overlooks, picnic areas, and new trails. The Cam-boh picnic area was one of the improvements performed by the CCC in the 1930’s. The area is used today as a rest stop and picnic area, as well as, a launching point for equestrian riders, hikers, and mountain bikers. The existing gravel lot is too small for equestrian/horse users due to their large trailers causing the lot to become congested for other users. Additionally, the small size and amount of congestion make it difficult for equestrian users to turn vehicles with trailers around and exit the lot. Currently, the visitors to the park have a limited open dirt lot parking area with a picnic area. Many visitors are forced to park along the busy roadway and have been parking on sensitive natural desert landscape.

The current parking lot footprint is inadequate in size for horse trailers and for the many visitors using the existing dirt parking lot. In the picnic area there is a comfort station, a shade shelter, multiple picnic tables, and a few trail heads that lead into the interior of the park. Boulders were placed along the gravel lot to create a boundary for the parking lot. The vegetation surrounding the Cam-boh picnic area consists of two biotic communities: desert scrub and desert grassland. These biotic communities are consistent throughout the Sonoran Desert encompassing the surrounding regions of the park.


At the Cam-boh Picnic Area in Saguaro National Park, the recreational use of the nearby trail systems are highly used by equstrian riders. Horseback riding has become more popular at the park with the increasing growth. Equstrian riders require large horse trailers that are approximately ten feet in length.

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Photo By: Desmin Fontaine

Photo Date: April 9, 2020

Horse Trailers

The need for large horse trailer for equestrian rider is one reason that a new parking lot is needed at the Cam-boh Picnic Area. Horse trailers area large and can be challenging to turn around. Additionally, the small lot size become easily conjested when horse-trailer are present.

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Photo By: Desmin Fontaine

Photo Date: February 24, 2020

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·Last Update-November 17 , 2020 ·