Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Wow!  A green desert.  The Sonora desert in southern Arizona has in fact 3 rainy seasons when it receives just enough rain for a fantastic array of species to thrive.  The most famous of which are the Organ Pipe and Saguaro cactus.  These grow into huge specimen.  This region has been recognized by the United Nations as a special biosphere reserve.

Strange Saguaro arms

Strange Saguaro arms

Organ Pipe Cactus

Organ Pipe Cactus

OrganPipeSaguaro

Saguaro Cactus

The campground at this park is one of the most beautiful we have ever seen.  Big RV sites with paved parking slabs and mature landscaping separates each site.  Landscaping that includes giant sagauro, huge organ pipes, cholla, ocotillo, palo verde, ironwood, creosote and many other plants we haven’t identified yet.  With our Golden Age Pass we stay here for only $6/night.  Of course there are no RV hookups but there are flush toilets, convenient fresh water and a dump station on site.  Generators are permitted during morning and afternoon periods.  What more do you want for your self-contained RVer.  It is pristine and quiet and warm when most of the country is cold.

Twin Peaks Campground

Twin Peaks Campground

We can see a small border town in Mexico from our RV and “cross border incursions” do occur in this park.  National Park Service and Border Patrol people are everywhere especially at night.  During the day we have seen black water bottles discarded by travelers near trails in the park but we always feel safe.  We hiked to abandoned gold and silver mines and to early 20th century ranch sites deep in mountain canyons.  A park service van tour led us to rare crested cacti and incredible bird nests

Posing with a crested organ pipe

Posing with a crested organ pipe

Every evening in the park the volunteer staff offered a very informative program about the desert.  We learned about the captive breeding of the Sonoran pronghorn  to hopefully save it from extinction.  In 2002 there were only 22 left!  And we learned about so many desert plant and animal species including the packrat, the ocotillo and the creosote bush.

We love this place and we will return again.  This park is a good place to visit from January to March.  In the Summer its a whole different story with temperatures reaching 120 degrees F.  Far too hot for most people.

Forest at Organ Pipe

Forest at Organ Pipe

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One Response to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

  1. What a great description of this biosphere of a place. And to think it was recognized by the United Nations. Sounds like a great experience and you hit it at the right tie of year. Having knowledgeable people and guides is a plus.

    Like

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