Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument had surfaced in several travel blogs we read as a remote national monument (our version of not crowded) with good hiking.  It is in southern Arizona in the Sonoran Desert bordering Mexico.  After living in Billings, Montana for several years and with our travel for the past two months in several different desert areas, we wanted to see if this desert region was any different.  Honestly the first couple of weeks in the desert we felt like we were going to ‘crack into pieces’.  Now we have finally acclimated to the lack of humidity by using copious amounts of lotion.

Large organ pipe cactus with two dead woody arms

Large organ pipe cactus with two dead woody arms

Because of the location of the park being so close to the border, we wondered about the safety in hiking.  The park used to close off areas, now they just issue ‘warnings’ that there could be illegal drug activity or illegal crossings.  We did do two days of hiking and did not see anything unusual but were vigilant and aware of our surroundings (not just for people — for rattlesnakes and African bees too).

crazy saguaro arms

crazy saguaro arms

The visitors center is top notch – many displays explaining the desert plants and animals and showing how native Americans survived in this harsh environment.

beautiful desert sunset

beautiful desert sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The campground is well maintained – all paved with concrete pads, a grill, and picnic table.  They have two loops where generators are permitted (only certain hours) and the other loops are generator free.  We love this separation as we don’t like listening to generators instead of the quiet.  When we were out walking we spotted someone we met while camp hosting in Alabama so we had happy hour and dinner together – pretty neat when you ‘remake connections’ and hear about some other neat places to visit.

Beautiful blooming barrel cactus

Beautiful blooming barrel cactus

There are no hookups but clean bathrooms and two of the bathrooms have a  shower with solar heated water.  If the campground was crowded (it wasn’t when we were there), I wouldn’t count on a shower with warm water since the collector isn’t very big.  Still it was a nice surprise since most national parks are pretty spartan.

Unusual pattern in saguaro body

Unusual pattern in saguaro body

spacious sites - all concrete pads

spacious sites – all concrete pads

Burl on bottom of cactus. You don't see this very often.

Burl on bottom of cactus. You don’t see this very often.

This entry was posted in Places we've been and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

  1. Keith says:

    I really though Organ Pipe Cactus was a beautiful place when I was there earlier this year on the motorcycle. I’m having a great time following your travels.

  2. We loved camping at Organ Pipe, also in the no services section. Hoping to get back there this year. If you are still in the area, you might enjoy boondocking at the Buenes Aires Wildlife Refuge, which is just down the road. You have a high enough clearance that you can probably get into nearly any site there – we were more limited, but enjoyed it very much.

  3. Ed says:

    Very nice …I wish I could do that….but all I can do is follow….

    • gconthemove says:

      Hope we traveling in some good virtual travel spots for you! We just stayed on a small pond outside of Yuma – thought of all of our fishing friends since there are so few wet places here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *