Organ Pipe Cactus
1937: National Monument
About the SiteThis large Monument in southern Arizona is host to an extraordinary collection of plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. The organ pipe cactus is a large cactus rarely found in the United States, but here it's on prominent display. Other creatures that have adapted to the area's extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and sparse rainfall include Gila monsters, rattlesnakes, and scorpions.
Bring the kids!
What You're Going to SeeYou can camp here, though I'm not sure why you'd want to. Fresh water is available at the visitor center, that also has rest rooms, but there are no RV hookups and no reservations. Backcountry hiking is also available.
Personal ObservationsI took the kids in early May to the monument. It was too hot to hike (oh darn), but the Ajo Mountain drive was great. We saw tons of organ pipes and other cacti, some hawks, and as we climbed the slopes of Mt. Ajo the views were pretty impressive.
Getting ThereFrom Phoenix, go west on I-10 to exit 112. Go south on highway 85 for 33 miles to Gila Bend, and continue on for 52 miles to Why. Another 20 or so miles south-bound will bring you to Park headquarters.
Nearby AttractionsTo the east, about 90 miles away, is Saguaro National Park. About 60 miles to the northeast is Ironwood Forest National Monument, and 30 miles past that is Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.