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“Best sampling of Sonoran Desert”

Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Ajo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Home to a beautiful display of desert vegetation, including the Organ Pipe cactus.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Moreno Valley, California
Level 6 Contributor
413 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 745 helpful votes
“Best sampling of Sonoran Desert”
Reviewed June 3, 2011

Except for the hottest months of the year, Organ Pipe is a unique opportunity to tour some relatively unspoiled backcountry of the Arizona Desert. After wet winters, the wildflowers among the cactus are spectacular. Newcomers must stop in first at the Visitors Center for orientation, backstory and advice. Some of the best scenery is accessible only by dirt road. Some secret canyons and tinajas accessible only on foot or horseback abound with rare plants and animals. Be sure to get supplies and gasoline in Ajo or Why, AZ. The campground is very outdated. There is a danger due to activities of organized criminal "coyotes" who shepherd undocumented workers thru some parts of Organ Pipe on the way to Phoenix and other metropolises.

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank MonkeyOnTheWing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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372 reviews from our community

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Beautiful Sonoran Desert”
Reviewed April 26, 2011

What an amazing park. Each of our National Parks are beautiful and unique- and ORPI is no exception. What a beautiful place to spend a few hours. Staff was helpful. Worth the trip from Tucson or Gila Bend.

Visited April 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank squintykoreantravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, IL
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Desert Beauty”
Reviewed April 7, 2011

A few years ago we had been discouraged from visiting Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument due to its close proximity to the Mexican border. The visitor's center assured us that it is safe. This park is fabulous. Be sure to pick up the book that guides you through the 21 mile loop drive. Be sure to also take a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the ramada picnic areas. Many mountain ranges surround the park that is filled with many different cacti. Our favorite was the crested organ pipe.

Visited March 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank HollisGert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but little peace and quiet”
Reviewed February 26, 2011

After a wonderful time camping at Organ Pipe two years ago, we decided to go back for several nights. Sadly, we decided to leave after only three.

This is a beautiful place; magnificent scenery of desert vegetation and wildlife under a star-filled desert sky. It is also a warm haven in the freezing depths of winter. No wonder that its peak season is in February and March! Our campsite was very clean and well groomed and overlooked an expanse of desert all the way into Mexico.

That last, however, is a big problem. Every time we drove up to the nearby town of Ajo for groceries, dining, or whatever, we had to pass through a Border Patrol checkpoint and answer one agent's questions while another walked around checking our car inside and out. This was annoying enough; however on our third (and last) night at the campsite we were awakened late at night by the roar of a low-flying helicopter almost directly over our tent shining a floodlight on what was evidently a fleeing Mexican intruder, and all of this was followed by Border Patrol vehicles and agents roaming the campground for what seemed like hours. According to the Monument staff, this is a frequent occurrence there.

Sadly, our fear of illegals (and I recognize that some are drug smugglers) has let us turn a pristine, quiet and beautiful place into something close to a war zone. How sad.

Visited February 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank Ashurbanipol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
566 reviews
171 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 276 helpful votes
“Beautiful Desertscape”
Reviewed January 19, 2011

To fully appreciate Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument you must take the 21 mile dirt scenic route. As you get farther away from AZ-85 and into the low hills the density of the the cacti increases as does the beauty of the area. The stately saguaros, organ pipes, cholla and ocotillo share the area in abundance. The desert gives an entirely different meaning to nature's beauty. If you think that giant redwoods or Sequoias constitute the only beauty nature has to offer Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument will surely change your mind. I'd love to be out there on a clear full moon night.

Visited January 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank travelertoo2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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