AZ – Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Victoria Mine and Desert View Trails

Remember when I said a few posts ago I was on a wildflower safari. This park was on my list although I knew I might be a bit late and it might be warmer than I’d prefer. This was the first time during my travels I’d been in the southwest corner of the state. So as I say, “the time is now!”

The warnings reminded me of being in grizzly bear territory. It’s enough to make me uncomfortable but not scared.

With the security concerns, I elected to stay in the park campground. I really liked their available campsite system. If the placard was yellow it showed reservation, if green available. A serious problem though is that each road is one-way so you might need to drive in circles multiple times before locating a spot. I also liked that they had separate areas for generators and for tent/car campers but the price was the same regardless.

Hike #1: Victoria Mine to Desert View

The terrain is fairly friendly for off-trail travel although you have to be on alert for stickery prickeries. The park encourages such exploration as long as you adhere to LNT and soil preservation guidelines. I created a loop to connect the two trails with the goal at being at the right place for sunset.

Look at this interesting cactus growing out of this dead-ish cactus.

I believe these are Fishhook pincushion cactus. So tiny. Gotta watch your foot placement constantly when off trail.

New growth on an Organ Pipe cactus.

As I approached what I thought was the summit, the light was looking good to catch sunset. Yep, just me and my shadow.

The views kept improving as I found more summits to climb.

The park’s namesake cactus and the campground. Another benefit for staying in the campground are trails within walking distance.

Evening colors, no complaints here. I’d call this a happy Jan on night #1 of her first visit.

It was interesting to learn how plants grow within plants for naturally improved odds of survival.

This was a 3.5 mile jaunt.

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 22, 2019


  • Camping is available both at the campground and on nearby public land.
  • A benefit for the campground is showers included in the campground fee. Unreserved sites don’t become available until after 11am.
  • Gila Bend, Ajo and Why are nearest town for groceries, gas, etc.



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