The Budget Savvy Travelers

T-Rex Dinosaur Cactus | Step-by-Step Guide To Finding the Exact Location

The T-Rex dinosaur cactus is located next to the Superstition Mountains, just outside Phoenix, Arizona. The hard-to-find cactus stands just off the Jacob’s Crosscut Trail #58, which leads to the Broadway Cave. While this may seem like enough information to find the T-Rex dinosaur cactus, think again.

There are thousands of cacti surrounding the T-Rex dinosaur. If you don’t know the exact location, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. As a result, many hikers walk right past the supersecret dinosaur cactus without ever even noticing it.

A Special Kind of Plant

The saguaro (pronounced suh-WAR-oh) cactus is probably the most defining object found in the deserts of North America. Like cowboys, saguaros are an icon of Arizona and the American West. As a result of the admiration for the delightful plant, Arizona designated the saguaro cactus blossom as its state flower in 1931. Its symbolic importance is depicted through messaging on smartphones—it’s the sole emoji representing all cacti.

Without precise directions, you’ll probably never find the T-Rex dinosaur cactus.

The average lifespan of the saguaro is approximately 150-200 years and can grow to nearly 80 feet tall. However, it takes many years for this amount of growth to occur. For illustration, it may take up to 10 years for a saguaro to reach a height of one inch!

In order for a saguaro to stand six feet tall, it may take 70 years. To reach 15 feet tall, it may take 100 years, which is right about the time it may produce its first branch, also referred to as an arm.

This is known as the 50-in-1 Saguaro. It’s near LaBarge Spring in the Superstition Wilderness. Photo courtesy of Alan English.

The saguaro with the most arms ever recorded was named “Granddaddy”—it was located in Saguaro National Park East. The cactus died in the early 1990s with 52 arms and reached a height of 40 feet. Grandaddy was estimated to be about 300 years old.

Where is the T-Rex Dinosaur Cactus Located?

Most travelers seek out this area of the US for the atmosphere that only the Sonoran Desert can provide: hot days, cool nights, and blue skies. Outdoor enthusiasts especially enjoy the region, with many considering it a nature lover’s paradise.

The lush desert vegetation and wide-open vistas make Apache Junction a wonderful place to visit, specifically in spring when wildflowers and cacti are in bloom. It is here that you’ll find the T-Rex dinosaur cactus.

Step-by-Step Guide To Finding the Right Location

The T-Rex dinosaur cactus can most be easily reached from Apache Junction, Arizona. Locals in this neck of the woods, or desert, refer to this area as the “Supes,” in recognition of the Superstition Mountains which borders the town.

The weaver’s needle in the Superstition Mountains!

The remarkable range is home to some of Arizona’s most photographed spots, including the Peralta Canyon, the Weavers Needle formation, the mythical Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. Not on the list of most photographed spots is the T-Rex dinosaur cactus, and that’s because most people don’t know where it is.

1. From Phoenix Take US-60 East

The drive from downtown Phoenix to Apache Junction will take about 40 minutes. From Phoenix, hop on the I-10 until it connects with US-60. This will take approximately five minutes. From here, continue on US-60 for another 35 minutes.

2. Turn left onto S. Mountain View Rd

As the road begins to turn right, you feel like you may have passed Apache Junction. No worries. Any second you’ll come to the “Mountain View Rd.” exit sign. Merge to the left lane and take the next exit, turn left onto S. Mountain View Rd.

3. Turn right onto E. Broadway Avenue

Continue north on S. Mountain View Rd. for 1.7 miles until you reach the first major intersection, this will be E. Broadway Avenue. Turn right onto E. Broadway Ave.

4. Park at the Broadway Trailhead Parking Lot

The Broadway Trailhead parking lot is only one mile down E. Broadway Avenue. You will pass a “No Outlet” sign. This is across the street from the trailhead. Continue on about 100 feet and turn left into the small parking lot. There is no parking fee or pass required here. However, with only 10 parking spaces spots are limited.

Here’s what the T-Rex dinosaur cactus looks like from Google maps. See how the mouth looks like it’s open?

5. Begin Hiking Up the Trail 

This section of the trail is referred to as Jacob’s Crosscut Trail #58. Most hikers walk this trail to visit the Broadway Cave which we recommend including in your itinerary. The cave is located about one mile beyond the T-Rex dinosaur cactus.

In about 0.5 miles you will come to a fork in the trail. Veer to the left and continue on for about 75-100 feet. Turn to the right and you should see the T-Rex dinosaur cactus.

6. Congratulations! You Made It To T-Rex Dinosaur Cactus

Hopefully, at this point, you’re standing directly in front of a very interesting and funny cactus. If not, use these coordinates below to locate the precise location.

33.410513, -111.466667

Every Saguaro is Unique to Nature

Most of us simply think of the cactus as a prickly-green, cucumber-shaped plant with u-shaped arms, made famous in cartoons and movies. As the largest cactus in the US, the saguaro can grow into the most amazing shapes and sizes, even a T-Rex dinosaur. Nevertheless, all species of cacti may grow into various configurations and dimensions—all with their own uniqueness.

Touring Pipe Organ Cactus National Monument!

One of our favorite species of cactus is the Pipe Organ Cactus. This cylindrical, spiny, green variety is found on the border of Mexico in the Pipe Organ Cactus National Monument. It resembles the pipes coming from an organ, like the ones you may see in a church. Also, the Monument is one of the few places in the US where elephant trees are found. Moreover, the park is a great place for scenic drives, camping, hiking, biking, and horseback riding!

Funny-Shaped Cacti

Here are a few other funny shaped cacti that we’d like to share. What shape you see a cactus forming is truly in the eye of the beholder. However, sometimes there’s no denying it, like in the case of the T-Rex dinosaur cactus.

If you would like to share your own funny photo please send it to us and we’ll add it to this post.

Knowing the Location of T-Rex Dinosaur Cactus Comes With Responsibility

Popularizing the location of an interesting cactus comes with some risk to the plant. Therefore, make sure not to touch the T-Rex dinosaur cactus. Essentially, take pictures and only leave footprints. Also, keep in mind that it’s against the law to harm a saguaro cactus in Arizona.

It’s also important to know that there is currently a black market for saguaros. Homeowners pay thousands of dollars to add them as lawn adornments. Poachers sneak into the desert and dig up the best cactus they can find in the hope of making a hefty profit. Landscapers have been known for paying up to $100 per foot for these illegally poached cacti on the black market.

It’s a T-Rex. Run for your lives!

Taking a short hike to the T-Rex dinosaur cactus is a great way to spend the day, especially with friends and family. Adding on a side trip to the nearby Broadway Cave will make the trip even more worthwhile. Did you end up finding the T-Rex dinosaur? Let us know how your excursion went in the comments section below.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: