Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

When you're camped out in Gunsite Wash you're about 20 miles north of the visitor center for the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  I traveled to the center and the adjacent campground one day for a day trip.

Just 20 miles south on Hwy 85 from Gunsite Wash.

The Organ Pipe cactus, a distinct looking plant, only grows within the 570 square miles of the national monument, thus it's name.  That's one on the right side of the sign above.

The entrance to the Kris Eggle Visitor Center at Organ Pipe.

I really drove down to the visitor center because the campground is near it and I wanted to evaluate it as a possible site for staying at next year, but first I toured the visitor center and it's exhibits.

One of the cactus exhibits inside the visitor center.

It only takes a few minutes to walk thru the internal displays at the visitor center but there's a nice outdoor nature trail outside that is cool to walk.

One of the stops along the visitor center nature trail, the sign explains the view.

At the rear of the center the nature trail ends with a neat little pond housing some type of small endangered fish that is indigenous to the National Monument.  It was constructed by some middle school kids from nearby Ajo, AZ.

The pond housing tiny little endangered fish.

About a mile away from the visitor center is the Twin Peaks campground where you can dry camp (no hookups) for $9 a night if you have a US Senior Pass.

The Twin Peaks campground entrance.

The campground consists of 128 camp sites with four restroom facilities.  There are no hookups but I did notice a cell phone charging area up near the campground office.

Campsites among the Organ Pipe cactus (and Saguaro).

Not sure what type this one is but the flowers were pretty.

I spent an enjoyable and educational morning at the Organ Pipe National Monument.  Next year when I return to Gunsite Wash to camp I will probably add a few days at the Twin Peaks campground so I can hike the monument.  You really can't go wrong choosing where to camp in this part of Arizona!

Thanks for reading!