Nature & Science
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument exhibits an extraordinary collection of plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert. This is a showcase for creatures who have adapted themselves to the extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and little rainfall that characterize this Southwest region. Twenty-six species of cactus have mastered the art of living in this place, including the park's namesake and the giant saguaro.
Andy Fisher, NPS
As a protected area, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument allows the life of the Sonoran Desert to flourish under nearly ideal wilderness conditions. The monument is an outstanding natural preserve where one of the of the Earth's major ecosystems survives almost unspoiled.
Recognizing its significance, the United Nations in 1976 designated the monument as an International Biosphere Reserve.
Conservation and scientific research, including studies of human impact on the desert, will be invaluable in protecting the life of the desert.
Did You Know?
Gila Monsters are one of only two species of venomous lizards found in North America. You can find them in the late spring through early autumn at ORPI. They move really slow, and you have to try pretty hard to get bit. We don't recommend it. It hurts, and they don't let go.