I'm heading out to the Phoenix area for the latter half of this week, and I can't remember if there is much in the way of saguaro cactus in the area. I last drove across Arizona about five years ago, and I definitely remember big swaths of saguaros down near Tucson, but I can't remember seeing many near Phoenix. If I check the various web pages on the saguaro, they show its distribution continuing up around the Phoenix area, but they don't really say how abundant it is there. Are there just isolated stands around Phoenix, or are there any big forests of them within an hour's drive or so? How about any big forests of them near other sights worth seeing?Photo from http://www.azwild.org/newsletter/2003_02_shortakes.shtml
UPDATE: I didn't see any saguaro forests as thick as the ones farther south in Arizona, but there are a lot of saguaros around town, and when I headed northeast of Scottsdale along AZ-87, there were a pretty good number of them as the elevation rose from maybe about the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation to a few miles before Sunflower, where they stopped abruptly.