Into the Sonoran Desert

This last week we have traveled south of Ajo AZ about 40 miles and have been camped in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. 

An Organ Pipe Cactus
An Organ Pipe Cactus

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Its a wonderful desert park with many out of the way places where you can get lost and just wander the arid landscape.

 Twin Peaks is the only RV campground and it has been completely rehabed and is a quiet place to camp and enjoy the stars at night.

There is plenty of separation between campsites (though there are many spiny plants very close to each site) and the NPS staff are knowledgeable and very friendly.

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We were able to get a shade ramada which really helped the big dogs during the mid day heat as it has been in the mid 80’s. All of this at $6.00 per day with the NPS senior pass.

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Early Morning Pup Walk
Early Morning Pup Walk

There are lots of hiking trails but the heat limited us to early morning or late afternoon excursions.

On one cloudy day I hiked about 7 miles to visit the Victoria and Lost Cabin mines. The mine remains are a good reminder of what early prospectors had to endure to get gold and silver out of the desert.

The Victoria Mine Site
The Victoria Mine Site
Typical Desert Trail
Typical Desert Trail
The Ting Pin Cushion Cactus About The Size of a Big Dog Turd
The Tiny Pin Cushion Cactus About The Size of a Big Dog Turd
The Lost Cabin Mine  A Heavily Location Used On The Smugglers Trail Northbound
The Lost Cabin Mine
These Ruins Are Heavily Used as a Rest Point By Immigrants and Smugglers As They Head North Through The Park

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The Mexico border is within sight of the campground and while hiking along a ridge I stumbled across one of the immigrant or smugglers trails scattered with fresh water bottles, boots, torn clothes and food containers.

I found no discarded bales and saw no one that looked illegal but…… I felt they were close.

The park has installed “Panic Poles” along many of the immigrant trails as part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency’s ongoing Border Safety Initiative http://organpipehistory.com/orpi-a-z/rescue-beacons-panic-poles/  

In an emergency immigrants can find a pole, energize the button and the Border patrol will respond. Most sites are located along the main trails and some include water. We saw several of these poles on our travels around the park.

IMG_1845 One afternoon we drove the 21 mile Ajo Mountain loop that winds it way through the gorgeous Ajo mountains. It is mostly a gravel oneway road that traverses some of the most spectacular desert scenery in the southwest.

Don’t miss our latest video “Into The Sonoran” below

After 21 Miles of Gravel LuLu Is Hot and Tired
After 21 Miles of Gravel We Were All Hot and Tired

It was in the mid 80’s and the pups got tired of sitting in the back watching cactus go by, but it was well worth the effort.

Entering Arch Canyon
Entering Arch Canyon

We truly enjoyed this park and most certainly will be back for more adventures.

We are off to Quartzite again to restock, replenish and eat some of Silly Al’s Pizza then back into the desert for more boondocking.

Keep you posted………