Organ Pipe Is An Amazing National Park in the Arizona Desert
Canada to Mexico RV Holidays – Arizona
After enjoying a fun filled roaring weekend at the NASCAR races in Phoenix, it’s now time to venture south to the Mexican border only a couple of hours drive away from the race track.
For those following along on our Journey to Mexico, this was our Fourth Stop on our 1800 mile venture south in our Recreational Vehicle. Making frequent stops in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Mexico! I am putting these posts together along with our personal photos and videos for your enjoyment, as well as providing some helpful travel tips and suggestions that may come in handy for you or other family members or friends in travels down the road.
Camping at Organ Pipe While Heading to the Mexican Border
As this is the first time crossing into Mexico with our Recreational Vehicle, we were slightly nervous but excited at the same time. I certainly reviewed as many forums and websites about traveling to and about our final destination Puerto Penasco, Mexico.
But before crossing, it was recommended by many frequent travelers to spend a night at Organ Pipe Park, located just minutes from the Arizona/Mexico border. We were certainly glad we did!
A beautiful and peaceful National Park with some of the biggest cactus trees we have ever seen nestled in and around the Southwest’s Sonoran Desert! Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is situated in southern Arizona, south of the town of Ajo, east of Yuma and west of Tucson, Arizona.
Easy to get to, excellent highways and a must do stop over for those crossing into Mexico or coming from, or for those simply wanting to visit or camp at this amazing place. Appropriately named for the Organ Pipe Cactus, where surprisingly this is the only place in the entire United States where it grows wild, along with many other types of cactus as well.
This National Park comprises of over 330,000 acres of untouched natural beauty!
Twin Peaks Campground
Situated right next to the Kris Eggle Visitor Center, we stayed at this lovely park for the evening prior to carrying on and into Mexico. The Visitor Center and campground is just five miles north of the Lukeville border crossing off of highway 85. This facility has room 174 RV sites and 34 tent-only sites. Many recreational vehicle sites can accommodate your Class A motor homes up to 40 feet in length. The restrooms have running water, flush toilets and some also have solar showers for your convenience. The park and visitor center are open year round for your enjoyment.
Hook ups are not available in the park, so your unit must be self-contained! However, there is a dump station available free of charge for those camping overnight. Overnight fees for camping were just $12.00 per night in the fall of 2013, subject to change of course, but still very reasonable for such a beautiful location and facilities.
As with all National Parks in the United States, there is an $8.00 entrance fee which is valid for seven days per vehicle in addition to your camping fee.
There are special holidays throughout the year where the fee is waived. As luck had it, we just happened to stay during the Memorial Day weekend, which is one of the days where no park fee is required.
Amazing Cactus of All Varieties
Apart from really getting away from it all and enjoying the peace and serenity this National Park has to offer, you will also be simply awe struck by the size, amount and variety of cactus surrounding you. In all our travels over the years, particularly where Cactus thrives we have never seen such a beautiful variety and overwhelming size of cactus in and around this National Monument!
The Saguaro Cactus especially drew our attention here, as we had never seen them as large as experienced the in the park. You are sure to see such cactus among you here that are well over 200 years old! If they could only talk, the stories they could share from years past in this region!
After an exciting but very noisy race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, camping out right at the track, when the sun went down and the stars shone brightly above by the trillions, it was an eerily quiet feeling, but at the same time, so nice to get back in touch with nature and the beauty surrounding us!
We were also among only a few other campers in the park at this time of year which was an added bonus.
This is Cactus Country, so those with pets should be cautious! Always keep your pet on a leash and close by at all times. We have a Beagle dog and even with the most care, it is very hard to avoid having a sharp cactus needle or spike come in contact with your pets paws or nose! Ours certainly did on more than one occasion, especially being the type of dog we adopted. So take with your pet when walking among the many scenic trails in and around your campsite.
Safety in the Park
It is important for those traveling thru and/or staying in the park, to take heed of the warnings issued by the National Park Service.
As mentioned, the park is only a few miles from the Mexican border, so it is not unusual for Mexicans trying to cross illegally into the United States to lose their way and make their way into the park area. Using common sense and following the directions Park Officials give on how to deal with them, should one happen to encounter these people, you should not have any problems at all. This should be noted particularly for those people out camping in the wilderness who are away from the designated campgrounds.
Below, I have listed a couple of the Government’s website pages out on the Park itself and practicing Safety measures in and around the National Park for your convenience.
Take a Day Trip or an Entire Weekend
In concluding this article, if it is only for a day or you have a weekend to enjoy, a trip to Organ Pipe Monument is definitely something you should experience. Whether a traveling snowbird from Canada or a visitor from anywhere else on the planet, then I highly recommend a stop in this magnificent park located in the southern part in the State of Arizona. You will not be disappointed!
Approximate Distance to the Park from …
- Phoenix, Arizona … 106 miles
- Yuma, Arizona … 109 miles
- Tucson, Arizona … 116 miles
- Puerto Penasco, Mexico … 65 miles
Have you visited this National Park? If so, what did you like best?
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Did You Know …
“In the National Park System in the United States, there are over 407 sites covering more than 84 million acres of land.”