Saguaro painters still at large

Saguaro silhouetten in fiery Sonoran Desert sunset lit sky.

Vandals spray-painted seven saguaros along the trail on Black Mountain. Three were in the Cave Creek portion of the trail, with the other four in the Maricopa County section. Bright fluorescent green numbers, one through seven, were painted on the saguaros – the numbers ascending with the trail and a large number eight painted on rocks at the summit.

The Black Mountain Trail is very popular and well used. It was the subject of a recent presentation by Cave Creek Councilman Tom McGuire to his fellow Council members, showing the effects the volume of hikers are causing to the trail.

Volunteers led by a Maricopa County Park Ranger first attempted to remove the paint on just one of the saguaros to test products – seeing if they worked without harming the saguaro. Once the test proved successful, more volunteers and the ranger returned over the course of two days to remove the rest of the vandalism. The saguaros will be monitored for any long term effect from the incident. If you have any information about the culprits, please call the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office: (602) 876-1000.