Backcountry Camping

ALERT: Backcountry Camping Permits are available at the Visitor Center when the visitor center is open. There may be periods of time when facilities may closed or operate with reduced capacity based on the ability to adherer to established sanitization guidelines.

Backcountry permits are required for overnight backpacking are available at the Kris Eggle Visitor Center. The permit is $5.00, regardless of number of people. There is no Senior or Access discount on the permit fee. The entrance fee of $25.00 per vehicle or $15.00 for an individual is required. Passes may apply to entrance fees. Camping is limited to 7 days with no more than 2 consecutive nights may be spent at the same campsite.

Camp ½ mile away from roads, historic sites or water source. Camp on durable surfaces (rock, sand, dirt, etc).

Fires are not permitted: use a backcountry stove or canned heat.

Pets are not allowed in the backcountry.

Driving or parking off designated roads is prohibited. Park only in the pullout specified on registration form.

Leave campsite clean;carry out all trash and bury human waste using a "cat hole", a six inch deep hole, covered after use.Pack out toilet paper.

Do not wash cloths, dishes or yourself in water sources, even with biodegradable soap.

Plants, wildlife, historical objects and archaeological artifacts are protected and may not be disturbed or collected.


Be aware of your surroundings and do not leave belongings unattended. Illegal border activities do occur in Organ Pipe including smuggling of drugs and humans. Though smugglers and migrants want to evade detection, overnight travel/activity increases your risk of encountering illegal activity. Smugglers and/or migrants may approach you because they are lost, need food/water, or are in medical distress. There may be other reasons such as criminal intent. Do not engage with unknown people and move away if possible.

When you leave your vehicle, secure your valuables (including food and water) out of sight. Vandalism may be more likely at night, you accept the risk while backcountry camping. If your vehicle is vandalized or you encounter illegal activity, report it to a ranger, border patrol agent or at the visitor center.

Cell reception is limited in most areas of the monument. Do not rely on cell service to report illegal activity or in an emergency situation. If you do have cell reception call 911.


Backcountry Zones and Capacities

Tilloston Peak West: Zone 140A

  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 6
  • Maximum Group Size: 6
Tilloston Peak West (Ajo Mountain Drive): Zone 140B
  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 2
  • Maximum Group Size: 2
Diablo Canyon: Zone 160
  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 4
  • Maximum Group Size: 4
Sweetwater Pass: Zone 170
  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 6
  • Maximum Group Size: 4
Ajo Valley North: Zone 300
  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 15
  • Maximum Group Size: 8
Ajo Valley South: Zone 310
  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 15
  • Maximum Group Size: 6
Bates Mountains: Zone 320
  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 10
  • Maximum Group Size: 6
Growler Wash: Zone 400
  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 15
  • Maximum Group Size: 8
Cristobal Wash: Zone 410
  • Maximum Daily Capacity: 15
  • Maximum Group Size: 8
Backcountry Camping Zones Map
Map of accessible backcountry camping areas

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Last updated: September 22, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

10 Organ Pipe Drive
Ajo , AZ 85321



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