Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Pictures
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is as unique as it is lonely. Situated in the Sonoran Desert along the U.S.-Mexican border, this National Monument and International Biosphere Reserve is one of the only places in the United States where you can find the elusive Organ Pipe Cactus.
The park protects 31 species of cacti and succulents, but it is also home to several animals such as bats, mountain lions, desert bighorn, Sonoran pronghorn, and many others.
The most popular scenic drive in the park is the Ajo Mountain Drive, a 21-mile, 2 hour drive that will give you some great views and up-close photo-ops with the cacti.
Things to see and do
- Choose one of the scenic drives around the park.
- Take a bike ride
- RV and tent camping
- Go for a hike
- Enjoy a picnic
- Snap some photos of the park’s namesake organ pipe cactus
- Visit Organ Pipe’s sister park, Mexico’s El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Sonora
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Hours
The park is open every day to visitors. The Visitor Center is generally open from 9-5 and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day.
Directions to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
The Kris Eggle Visitor Center is located on Highway 85 and is about a 2.5 hour-drive from either Tucson and Phoenix.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Park Stats
Date created: 1937
Annual Visitors: 191,512 in 2020
Fun Fact: In 1976, the United Nations designated Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument as an International Biosphere Reserve. It protects 31 types of cacti, including the Organ Pipe, which is rarely found in the United States.
Visitor Centers and Passport Stamps
The Kris Eggle Visitor Center is the headquarters and main visitor center for the park. It’s typically open from 9-5 nearly every day of the year. It also has a small park store operated by the Western National Parks Association. Here you’ll find Passport Stamps, restrooms, maps, and other souvenirs.
Other Nearby Parks
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument pretty much stands alone in the Sonoran Desert, but if you’ve got a few days to explore southern Arizona, there are several NPS sites to visit. Saguaro NP in Tucson is a must, so be sure to read our guide for the best things to do in Saguaro National Park. Others in the area include Tumacacori National Historical Park, Coronado National Memorial, and Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.
Grand Canyon National Park is about 5.5 hours to the north and Joshua Tree National Park in California is about 5.5 hours to the west.
Be sure to read about all of Arizona's National Parks here.
Have you visited Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument? What did you enjoy most?
You May Also Like
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- Colorado: Visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
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