Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Description: Drive through dramatic Sonoran Desert on two lightly traveled loop roads. See abundant desert flora and wildlife including the Organ Pipe Cactus, common in Mexico but rare in the United States. Well-maintained dirt roads suitable for most passenger cars. Ajo Mountain Drive has short stretches of pavement on steeper sections. Dangerously hot in summer. Carry plenty of water. Route-finding easy.
Time & Distance: The 51-mile Puerto Blanco loop takes 3 to 4 hours. The 21-mile Ajo Mountain loop takes 1 to 2 hours.
Trail Conditions: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Call (520) 387-6849 or visit their website.
Remember: trail conditions, fire restrictions, weather, and land ownership change constantly so everyone must take responsibility for themselves, both for their safety and complying with all laws. Please understand that means YOU.
Directions to the Trail: Take Hwy 85 south from Phoenix or Hwy 86 west from Tucson. From the town of Why continue south on Hwy 85 about 23 miles to the Visitor Center on right. Follow signs at Visitor Center to start of the trails.
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Get yourself and your rig ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are prepared for your next adventure.
Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of having your full-on bug-out-bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.
Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save the number to Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Their number is (602) 697-8306.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!
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