"Parque Natural del Gran Desierto del Pinacate" Parque Natural del Gran Desierto del Pinacate by John_P_LSU

Sonora's Parque Natural del Gran Desierto del Pinacate (Natural Park of the Great Desert of the Pinacate) is a large nature reserve with sand dunes and some volcano "evidence" (several extinct volcanic craters, a large lava flow and cinder cone volcanoes). We intended to camp overnight, but when we went to register at the park headquarters, we were informed that some recent heavy rain had flooded many of the access roads within the park, and all of the campgrounds were inaccessible. So we looked around a bit but were forced to head north to Arizona, USA where we camped at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.


International Space Station Expedition 9 Imagery:
The Pinacates Biosphere Reserve is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 9 crewmember on the International Space Station (ISS). The Pinacates?a moon-like volcanic landscape that lies in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico just a few miles from the border with Arizona?is one of the most unique and striking landscapes in North America. The volcanic range is surrounded by one of North America?s largest dune fields, Gran Desierto. The natural history of the region includes thousands of years of human occupation; it is the aboriginal homeland of the O?Odham tribe, also known as the Papago. The region also served as an early training site for Apollo astronauts in the mid-late 1960s. The name Pinacate is derived from ?pinacatl,? the Aztec name for the desert stink beetle which is common in the region. The natural and cultural resource management of the region, including the archeological sites and the high biodiversity, is now guaranteed: the site was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993. The high-resolution image provides a view of a large volcanic crater called Crater Elegante, which is one of the most prominent and interesting features of the Pinacates.
---- ISS009-E-05944 (7 May 2004)

---- ISS009-E-05953 (7 May 2004)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:looks to be an interesting park
  • Cons:very hot in the Summer, and roads easily affected by heavy rain
  • In a nutshell:I need to go back
  • Last visit to Parque Natural del Gran Desierto del Pinacate: Sep 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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