About Organ Pipe Cactus
Pipe Organ Cactus National Monument preserves 330,689 acres of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona right on the Mexican border. It is named after the the Saguaro Cactus whose multiple trunks resemble the pipes of an organ. A surprising variety of desert plants cover the desert, including the saguaro cactus, prickly pear cactus, ocotillo and creosote bushes.
To appreciate Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, you have to get out of your car and away from the highway. Seen from the windows of a fast-moving vehicle, it will no doubt appear barren, uninteresting and much like a vast area of Arizona surrounding it. But with a more intimate experience, there is much to appreciate in the vegetation, wildlife and rocky mountains. It is intriguing it imagine its history of Spanish explorers, native American tribes, and geologic past. Remnants of early exploration and attempted settlements can be seen.
Due to its proximity to the border, some areas are closed off and caution is advised in other areas of the park.
Arizona Route 85 passes through the middle of the monument, and southward into Mexico. A handful of dirt roads and several trails offer a closer look at the desert, including Alamo Canyon Road, Ajo Mountain Road and Puerto Blanco Road. The elevation ranges from 1,062 feet at the northwest corner of the monument to 4,024 feet at Diaz Peak, in the Ajo Mountains which line its eastern boundary.