"The Organ Pipe Cactus Border" Top 5 Page for this destination Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument by richiecdisc

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument may lie geographically in the United States but it becomes readily apparent that borders are indeed quite arbitrary once within its confines. This is substantiated by the fact that the rare organ pipe cactus from which it derives its name is found only here and south of the border in the real Mexico. Though very impressive, the rare cacti is not the only draw of this beautiful slice of the Sonoran Desert. Despite its scenic attributes, the Monument was formed for its extensive biodiversity as well as its cultural importance to Native Americans and settlers who mined and ranchers the area. Scenic drives on gravel roads and hikes allow visitors to catch a glimpse of what is now primarily designated a wilderness area in hopes of steming the tide of man's overuse. You might not need a passport to enter, but if you walk out into the hills you'll walk perhaps not into another country, but a different time and world awaits.

we finally broke out the tripod for the sign photo

  • Last visit to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: Apr 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (12)

Comments (7)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    My one visit to Mexico was similar to yours -- half a day in Juárez. The only good thing was that we had a totally knowledgeable local guide, the then-bestselling novelist John Rechy who had grown up in El Paso and at the time was still living there.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2009 at 11:39 AM

    Travelling while 'just winging it' is so much fun! Another beautiful spot Richie, with excellent photos and tips on the various cacti! It is too bad you were not feeling well while in Organ Pipe though - not a single tip on beer ;-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2009 at 11:12 PM

    Oh fantastic, all of these cacti in one place! I loved the Teddybear Cholla and the Ocotillo when I was in AZ :-)) A bit sad that so less is cared about the campers with tent :-(

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    The landscape indeed reminds of Mexico. Would love to visit some day, together with Baja California and Copper Canyon. Amazing collection of cacti! The flowers on the top of Saguaros looks amusing and Teddy Bear most beautiful. Cactus figs? Yes, please :)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    Great photos and tips, it looks really beautiful! A cactus on my window sill has three big beautiful flowers today (last year there was one), but they will just bloom for a couple of days.

  • Sharrie's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    I like the name of this n.m. Very poetic. The thing about the wilderness is not having a guide book allows one to give his/her own meaning to the experience & I tend to prefer that kind of encounter with the wild.

  • DoreenDe's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2009 at 5:11 PM

    I certainly got the feeling for Mexico...even if we were north of the border. Maybe next time...


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