Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Things to Do
Ajo Mountain Drive (21 miles): Winds along the foothills of the Ajo Mountains, the highest range in the area. Outstanding desert landscapes and impressive stands of organ pipe cactus are among the highlights of this tour. It also includes a spectacular view of a natural stone arch in Arch Canyon. The drive takes about two hours; the road, which twists and dips, is mostly gravel and is passable by normal passenger cars. RVs over 24 feet are not advised to travel this route. There is a free guidebook to this drive available at the Visitor Center. This is a popular biking route, please be aware and courteous to bikers.
Puerto Blanco Drive (37 miles): The first five miles allow 2-way traffic on the north end of the loop, providing access to the Pinkley Peak Picnic Area. Several stops along the way provide wonderful views and information on the ecology and culture of the Sonoran Desert. The drive was reopened completely in 2014. High clearance vehicles recommended after Pinkley Peak.
Besides these two roads, there are the Bates Well Road, Pozo Nuevo Road and Camino de Dos Republicas. These roads are more rugged and high clearance or 4x4 vehicles are advised. See historic sites with windmills, ranch houses, abandoned gold and silver mines, and other remnants of the past. Be aware and comply with any caution signs you may see. Check on road conditions at the visitor center before you go.
When auto touring, carry emergency tools; take drinking water and extra water for your vehicle; stay away from flooded areas; and never drive off the road. Ramadas and picnic areas are located in scenic spots on both drives.
Biking is allowed on all roads open to vehicular traffic. Bikes are not permitted on trails.
Trails and Hiking
Visitor Center Nature Trail (0.1-mile round trip) Easy. Visitor Center Nature Trail - Stroll through the Sonoran Desert as the brick trail loops around the Visitor Center.
Campground Perimeter Trail (1-mile round
trip) Easy - Loops around the Twin Peaks Campground. Allows pets, if leashed.
Desert View Nature Trail (1.2 miles round trip) Easy - A circular route leading to vistas of Sonoyta Valley and the pink granite of the Cubabi Mountains in Mexico. Trail side signs describe features along the way and tell how people used the desert to live.
Estes Canyon-Bull Pasture Trail (4.0 miles round trip) Strenuous. A favorite among hikers here. This combination of two trails leads you up to an amazing vista, jumbled geology and wonderful flowers. The pasture was used by supporters of Pancho Villa as a hide-out!
Victoria Mine Trail (4.5 miles round-trip) Moderate. On south side of Twin Peaks Campground. Goes over rolling terrain to the site of the oldest mine in the area.
Lost Cabin Mine Trail (4.4 miles) Along an old, primitive mining road.
Senita Basin Loop (2.25 miles) through the oldest granite hills in the monument.
Milton Mine Trail (2.5 miles) through hills of chrysocolla (false turquoise).
Red Tanks Tinaja Trail (1.2 miles) Moderate. Trailhead is located along the North Puerto Blanco Drive. Follows the route of ancient Hohokam following tinaja springs.
Dripping Springs Mine Trail (2.0 miles) travels through one of the moistest area of the monument.
Arch Canyon Trail (1.5 miles) Moderate. The trail leads up the canyon towards a pair of natural arches in the volcanic rock. At the end of the maintained trail, a strenuous, non-maintained route leads up to the arches and beyond. Be cautious of loose rock if you choose to follow this route.
Bull Pasture Trail (3 miles) Difficult. Through the historical focal point of all three cultures who have occupied the monument.
Organ Pipe Cactus NM Map - Map to help explore the park.
Estes Canyon Trail (3 miles) is a more gradual route to Bull Pasture.
County Road 131/Old Ajo/Sonoyta Hwy. 85 Trail (8 miles) a 50-year-old remnant spur along old Hwy. 85.Hiker Shuttles: During the winter season, free hiker shuttles are offered to the Senita Basin and Red Tanks Tinaja Trailhead. From these trails, one can easily walk back to the campground. Reserve a spot on the shuttle by calling the Kris Eggle Visitor Center at (520)- 387-6849 no more than one week in advance. Senita Basin Shuttle (4.6 mile walk back to campground): Tuesday, Friday at 8:30am. Red Tanks Tinaja (6.7 mile walk back to campground): Monday, Thursday, at 8:30am
When: Daily; 11am and 2pm
20 minute presentations take place on the back patio of the Kris Eggle Visitor Center. Subjects and presenters vary.
AJO MOUNTAIN VAN TOURS
When: Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday
Spend 3 hours with a ranger on a drive through one of the monument's most beautiful areas. Space is limited to 10 people per day, so be sure to call or visit the Kris Eggle Visitor Center early in your visit to reserve your space. Advanced reservations are required.
End the day with a 45-60 minute show at the Twin Peaks Campground amphitheater at 7pm. From cactus and hummingbirds, to cowboy music and cartoon characters, these programs are opportunities for our staff's personalities to really shine through. Check with the Kris Eggle Visitor Center for details and time changes that may vary with the season.
SPECIAL LECTURES AND VAN TOURS
Ask at the Kris Eggle Visitor Center if any are scheduled while you are in the park.
Can't make a Ranger Program, or just want to know more? Watch our 15 minute slide show, "Where Edges Meet: A Sonoran Sanctuary," which shows in the Kris Eggle Visitor Center. Get park newspaper and other park publications.
El Camino Del Diablo - The Devil's Highway
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