Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Organ Pipe National Monument

Why, AZ   High 79  Low 57

After leaving Yuma, we headed for Why, AZ. We were going to boondock while we were there but I decided I wanted a really long shower so we pulled into the Hickiwan RV Park. What a great park.

We only had one day to spend in this area and I wanted to see Organ Pipe National Monument. We took the pups with us so the neighbors wouldn’t complain about Rocky barking the whole time.


We stopped at the Visitor’s Center and watched the video on the monument and the Sonora Desert.



Organ Pipe NM covers 516 square miles and was established by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937.

There are several drives you can take to see parts of the monument and we decided to do the North Puerto Blanco – South Puerto Blanco loop drive. You need a high clearance vehicle for this 41 mile road.

I read that this route takes four hours and I should have known better, but we like adventure. Well, this one was not fun. It took us almost five hours to do the 41 miles because the road is beyond rough. Jim was lucky if he could do five miles an hour without shaking us out of the truck. Our back and neck muscles were sore for a couple of days after this adventure.


The first ten miles weren’t too bad but then the road turns into a one-way road and once you start down it there’s really no turning around to go back.


The Organ Pipe Cactus Biosphere Reserve is a first-generation biosphere reserve created in 1976 for the conservation of the unique resources representing a pristine example of an intact Sonoran Desert ecosystem.



We didn’t see much wildlife. We saw one coyote who moved too fast for me to get a picture. And we saw a couple of birds. This one I actually got a picture of. I’m pretty sure he’s a Phainopepla according to the information I got from the visitor center.


We expected to see a lot of Organ Pipe Cactus but that’s not the case. Organ Pipe like the warmth and cannot grow in a cooler or cold climate. There are several Organ Pipe in the monument but not in the numbers we expected. They do grow very abundantly in Mexico. The few that are in the United States are protected by being in the National Monument.


We did not see any drug smugglers, illegal immigrants, or Border Patrol agents but there are several of these signs throughout the park.



There are also water stations identified by these flags provided for people walking through this area.


More pictures of the scenery.


Bonita Well where we stopped for lunch.


Driving along the South Puerto Blanco portion of the loop takes you right along the Mexican border. The truck in this picture is driving on Highway 2 in Mexico and that is the fence that separates us.


A little further up the road, the Wall starts.


There are a couple of much shorter drives and next time those will be the ones we take. I really would like to come back and spend a week in this area.


  1. So it was unpleasant but you want to return. What an optimist you are! :)

  2. That was quite a drive!! We're you ever nervous being so close to the border? That fence didn't look too restrictive!!
    Glad you had a good day!!

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  4. We are so glad we hiked and did not take that road. Thanks so much for the heads up. On the hike, we saw lots of Organ Pipe cacti.

  5. Good thing Jim knows all about GM parts so he can get new shocks after the beating they took! ;c)

  6. he we are in Hickiwan but I am sure you are gone now...

  7. I was there way back in the early 90's and camped there. I wonder what has happened to all the organ pipe as they were very abundant. It was a beautiful place to camp. In the morning we had mule deer at out site. My husband never one to pay attention stepped on a very small rattler that had huge horn toad stuffed in his mouth.

  8. We've done Organ Pipe several times but it's been a few years ago. I didn't realize Why even had an RV park.

  9. Another successful collar story--friends arrived at North Ranch with their newest rescue dog who has separation anxiety big time. They borrowed one of the vibration collars from a friend of ours and it worked like a charm. Hope you have success with yours!

  10. The dessert is just so much different than what I am used to here in the East

  11. When I am driving those back roads, I always wonder how road service will be if I have a problem:)

  12. We took the short driving route last year, have no desire to take the long one, glad you enjoyed it there.

  13. We were there in 2010 and that road was closed due to heavy drug traffic. We did the shorter loop road. Isn't is amazing how easy it is to come across the border..fence? what fence.?

  14. Crikey ..... you're not showing up on my reading list. I've missed out on lots of your blogs. I'm catching up now though. Just had to comment here on how beautiful that place is. Loved all the photos.

  15. I don't think you've been showing up on my blog roll either, because I sure missed a lot of your posts. Interesting seeing the actual border that is being talked about so much. I wonder if any illegals ever push the red button? It's probably lost RV'ers. haha


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.