Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

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Franklin D. Roosevelt created Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on April 13, 1937. Organ Pipe cactus are predominant in this area and Mexico. They like the southern slope of mountains. One Organ Pipe we saw was huge. This Organ Pipe had a virus that was quiet beautiful. The reason for the virus is unknown.

If you look at this deformity and then to the right of the photo, you can see what the cactus should look like and what the abnormality looks like. The small section of red is from someone’s shirt! The red color is not part of the cactus.

We didn’t have any trouble getting a space. All the spaces face the same way. We were on a cement pad with a very nice area with a picnic table and BBQ stand. Having our Senior pass, we paid $6 a night. They have a very nice dump area with drinking water. They also have drinking water faucets throughout the park. They also have garbage bin drops.

Twin Peaks Campground at Organ Pipe Cactus NM

Our friends, Janet and Ralph were also at the park. We had dinners together and Ralph went hiking with us. We decided to hike the Victoria Mine trail which was 4.5 miles round trip. It took us through the desert to the west of the campground.

We reached the mine to find an old cabin, walls only and of course the pits for the mines were covered over for safety and fenced.

We get a good start on our summer tans!!

Blooming Fishhook cactus

The park offers a free tour of the Ajo Mountains. We rode in a van with 10 other people and two guides. Our driver taught us much about the desert. We saw about 5 different cholla and wonderful vistas. The Saguaro were like a forest.

Teddy Bear Cholla

As you can see we had storms that day. The sun came out to warm us throughout the 21-mile ride. One incident happened. We came up over a rise in the road and here sits a Chevy truck parked in the wash. This is a no-no. Our driver called it in and the border patrol came to check it out. Since Organ Pipe is so close to the border, the patrol guys are everywhere and need to check out incidents like this. Here are some photo’s from the drive.

Saguaro Forest
Arch Rock
Bull Pasture

Bull Pasture was a place where banditos and Pancho Villa would hide out. Above the pasture is this mountain. Now, if you look real close you will see a longhorn in the mountain. No touch ups to the photo. It actually looks like this. So when the villans would come here they would tell each other to meet at the bull.


We stopped many times to look at vegetation and we learned their names. Here, on a bluff overlooking Diablo Valley, our driver teaches us “huffing” over a Jojoba bush. I chose to just rub the leaves with my hands. But everyone had  a good time with this activity. (Dale shows ya how it’s done!)

Dale gets in the act!

Something you may not even think you would find in the desert. Pup Fish. They had them behind the Visitors center.

We very much enjoyed this park and the surrounding area. We have things we still need to do here so we are putting Organ Pipe on our schedule for next year. You should too. You won’t regret it.


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