Containing an eponymous cactus forest, the world's largest, Saguaro blends nicely with the fringes of Tucson, offering hiking by day and city excitement at night. Start in Saguaro East, and cross town for dinner at the landmark El Charro Cafe and a night's sleep at a comfortable hotel or B&B. The next day, make your way to Saguaro West, and hike one of the many trails through this desert wonderland before making your way to the excellent Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in the afternoon. — Photo by Bruce Talbot/DK Stock/Corbis
Believe it or not, while spring is almost at an end, many of the West's national parks remain snow-covered until July. So why not explore some of the Southwest's desert parks before the heat and the crowds arrive? Now is also a good time to head to Yellowstone for an early view of the wildlife. If you plan to visit national parks in the spring, here are seven great ones to explore.