Organ Pipe Cactus Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is a fascinating adventure. We were lucky enough to be there while a storm was brewing up from Mexico, giving us cool temps for walking and brilliant skies for dramatic scenery. The highlight of the park is the 20 mile circular drive to the Ajo Mountains, where there are two arches. The views were so spectacular that we wanted to do it again & again.
One day we did a 4 mile hike to an old silver mine, abandoned in 1977. The trail wound around up over hills and down through washes. The next day, we did the 3 mile Desert View to the top of a hill, overlooking big wide Sonoran Desert valleys into Mexico.
Organ Pipe cactus have many upright branches grouped close together. I had never seen one before; they are very rare in the US. The terrain is also covered in ocotillo, saguaro, cholla and barrel cactus, making it appear to be a fantasyland.