Night Sky Viewing

Stars light up the sky with saguaro underneath.
Organ Pipe Cactus has some of the most pristine dark skies in the entire country, making it wonderful for nighttime viewing.

NPS Photo/Chris Rea

Two rangers stand beside large telescopes under a starry sky
Ranger Rob preps a Celestron telescope for Dark Sky programming during the winter months.

NPS Photo/Siria Cerda Navarro

Admiring The Heavens Above

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has some of the most pristine dark skys free of light pollution in the entire United States, making it a perfect place to stargaze, set up the telescopes for deep sky viewing, shoot some astrophotography, spot the space station, or just enjoy the music of the night. Ask a ranger about great places to view the night sky at the Kris Eggle Visitor Center. Discover great ways to star gaze or learn more about dark skies in your national parks!

Dark Sky Ranger Programs

During the winter season (December through mid-April), Organ Pipe Cactus has Dark Sky programming for visitors. Ask a ranger at the visitor center or check the event calendar during the winter season to see if there are any dark sky programs happening during your time in the monument.

Telescope Viewing Pads

Twin Peak Campground Amphitheater

Along the path to the campground amphitheater is a level 10'x10' paved viewing pad with two benches for visitors to sit and enjoy the skies above. This pad is convenient for visitors staying in the campground and is away from any glaring lights.

Pinkley Peak Picnic Area

Located directly off the parking lot at Pinkley Peak Picnic Area, this telescope pad is in the perfect location to enjoy a secluded nighttime soiree while stargazing. Pinkley Peak features picnic tables and a vault toilet with a stunning silhouette of Mount Pinkley as the backdrop.


There are many great places to snap astrophotography photos of the Milky Way or catch the Zodiacal Light along the horizon!

Pinkley Peak Picnic Area

Mount Pinkley is to the west of the parking area and makes a fantastic subject with the Milky Way above. To the east of the parking area is open basin area, making it easy to get thousands of stars in each picture.

Twin Peaks Campground Area

The Desert View Trail provides ample opportunity to snap photos with Twin Peaks mountain and organ pipe cacti as the backdrop, or take a photo from high above on the western side of the trail near the benches.

Alamo Canyon Campground Area

This campground is tucked into the eastern mountains at Alamo Canyon. The saguaro and organ pipe silhouetted by the mountain with the stars above makes for stunning photos.

Ajo Mountain Drive Area

Several areas along Ajo Mountain Drive make for great astrophotography shots. Stars from the inside of the canyons, atop the mountains, or shots from high above the desert landscape are possible in this area, and there are plenty of organ pipe and saguaro that would love to be the subject of your starry night photo.

Last updated: June 11, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

10 Organ Pipe Drive
Ajo, AZ 85321



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