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Join our park rangers as they reveal five of our favorite hikes in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

metallic gold pin with an organ pipe cactus on it
Hike five miles and earn a Hike for Health pin!

NPS Photo/K. Ceballos

Hiking in the "Green Desert"

Hiking is a great way to exercise while exploring the surprisingly lush Sonoran Desert either by yourself or with your family. There are miles and miles of trails laced around Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Some are easy, others are strenuous, most of them fall somewhere in between; Organ Pipe Cactus has trails for everyone. For backpackers or those seeking to adventure in an unexplored area, some of the best hiking is off the beaten trails and out in the canyons with only a map and compass to guide you. Ask a ranger at the Kris Eggle Visitor Center or learn more about the different trails below and see what's right for you.

Remember when hiking in the desert to always carry plenty of water and avoid hiking during the hottest parts of the day. Visit the Desert Safety page to learn more about how to best enjoy your time safely in the monument. Visit the Leave No Trace page to learn simple actions you can take to help preserve your public lands.

Hike For Health Challenge

Hike the Green Desert and earn a reward for being active in Organ Pipe Cactus! The "I Hike For Health" challenge will reward you for hitting the trails and achieving distance goals. By hiking 5 miles of trails, visitors are presented with a "Hike For Health" pin as a momento of their treks across Organ Pipe Cactus. Stop by the Kris Eggle Visitor Center to pick up the rules and receive your pin.

Hiking is a great way to exercise and stay in shape. For every mile you walk, you will burn around 70 calories (1/2 candy bar). Count your steps at home and challenge yourself to keep hiking in the over 400 units of the National Park System not only for your enjoyment but for your health too!

Program Rules

1. In order to qualify for the award, you must hike a minimum of 5 miles (8 km).
2. Each individual seeking the reward must have a photograph of each person on each trail hiked. Present picture to a ranger at the Visitor Center for verification.
3. Use the hiking chart from the visitor center to track your progress.
4. Please only one reward per person.

More Parks Offering "I Hike For Health" Pins In Arizona

Chiricahua National Monument
Coronado National Memorial
Fort Bowie National Historic Site
Tumacacori National Historical Park


Hiking Trails

Organ Pipe Cactus has over 28 miles in established trails to explore! Several of these trails are pet-friendly or ADA accessible for everyone to enjoy! Ask a ranger at the visitor center for more information about the trails or call 520-387-6849.

Visitor Center and Campground Trails

  • Visitor Center Nature Trail

    0.1 mile (0.2 km) roundtrip
    This ADA accessible, pet-friendly brick path begins at the Kris Eggle Visitor Center and loops to the parking lot. It features exhibits and a sitting area near a small pond with Quitobaquito pupfish.

  • Campground Perimeter Trail

    1 mile (1.6 km) roundtrip
    The Campground Perimeter Trail is located in the Twin Peaks Campground area. The western side of the trail is ADA accessible from the initial turn-in to the campground to the campground amphitheater, about a 1/4 mile. The rest of the trail is soft dirt and gravel that is relatively level, about 3/4 mile. This trail features beautiful desert plants, including many organ pipe cactus, and wonderful views to the south and east.

  • Desert View Trail

    1.2 miles (1.9 km) roundtrip
    This easy loop trail is ideal for sunrises and sunsets, featureing beautiful vistas and benches to sit and enjoy them along the trail. Exhibits that highlight the various plants in the area are found along the trail.

  • Palo Verde Trail

    2.6 mi (4.2 km) roundtrip
    While not officially ADA accessible, this pet-friendly dirt trail is relatively level for 1/2 mile if started from the visitor center trailhead and is an easy hike between the visitor center and Twin Peaks Campground.

Ajo Mountain Drive Trails

  • County Road 131

    8 miles (12.9 km) one way
    This easy trail follows the old county road which later became AZ Hwy 85. This is a great trail to explore for visitors looking for solitude. A cristate saguaro may be found 1 mile north of the southern beginning of the trail.

  • Arch Canyon

    1.2 miles (1.9 km) roundtrip
    This easy trail steadily climbs into a lush canyon. The double arch may be seen at the beginning of the trail, and visitors may climb the unmaintained trail to hike to the arch and enjoy the oak-juniper environment of the sky island.

  • Bull Pasture

    3 miles (4.8 km) roundtrip
    This strenuous trail can be done as a loop with the Estes Canyon Trail. The beginning of the trail climbs 500 feet to exposed cliffs with spectacular views of Mexico and the monument providing a well-deserved reward.

  • Estes Canyon

    3.2 miles (5.1 km) roundtrip
    This moderate trail is great for birding and owling. Visitors hike through the relatively flat base of Estes Canyon, crossing several washes until the switchback climb to the Bull Pasture trail.

Alamo Canyon

  • Alamo Canyon

    1.8 miles (2.9 km) roundtrip
    This scenic trail leads out of Alamo Canyon Campground and is great for birding and is an easy hike to the old ranching sites. Drop into the wash at the end for a "make your own adventure" experience!

Puerto Blanco Mountain Trails

  • Senita Basin Trailhead

    3.1 miles (5 km) or 8.2 miles (13.2 km) roundtrip
    This trailhead begins at the end of Senita Basin Road. A picnic table and trashcans may be found at the trailhead. This trail may be hiked as a 3.1 mile loop into Senita Basin or combined into a larger 8.2 miles loop to the Milton and Baker mine areas.

  • Red Tanks Tinaja

    1.6 mile (2.6 km) roundtrip
    This easy hike leads to a collection of tinajas in a wash. It may be combined to make a large 8.2 mile loop to Milton and Baker mines in the Senita Basin area.

  • Baker Mine

    5.2 miles (8.4 km) roundtrip
    Begins at the Red Tanks Tinaja trailhead and meanders in between beautiful desert mountains filled with organ pipe to Baker Mine, an old copper mine. This trail becomes rockier and climbs in elevation ~150 feet past Red Tanks Tinaja, so make sure to wear sturdy footwear.

  • Lost Cabin

    8 miles (12.9 km) roundtrip
    The Lost Cabin Trail begins at Victoria Mine, 2.2 miles from the trailhead. From Victoria Mine, follow the road another 1.8 miles to Lost Cabin, an old mining site nestled at the base of two mountains. The rocks around the mine are incredibly colorful due to copper minerals.

  • Milton Mine

    3.6 miles (5.8 km) roundtrip
    The Milton Mine trailhead is located off the Senita Basin road. This moderate trail dips through several washes to arrive at Milton Mine, an old copper mine. A beautiful blue copper mineral, chrysocolla, decorates the rocks across the area here; explore around the mine to find a large vein nearby!

  • Victoria Mine

    4.4 miles (7.1 km) roundtrip
    The Victoria Mine trailhead begins at the back of the Twin Peaks Campground loop. Enjoy a moderately challenging hike across the desert to Victoria Mine, an old silver mine. Enjoy spectacular views as you explore the old mine store and equipment along with several mine shafts.

  • Dripping Springs

    1 mile (1.6 km) roundtrip
    Located off the one-way section of North Puerto Blanco Drive, enjoy a hike through the base of several mountains to climb 150 feet in elevation to discover Dripping Springs nestled in the crevices of the mountain.

  • Dripping Springs Mine

    2.8 miles (4.5 km) roundtrip
    Located off the one-way section of North Puerto Blanco Drive, this trail follows an old historic mining road to Dripping Springs Mine, located at the end of the road across the wash to the west.

Last updated: January 22, 2024

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10 Organ Pipe Drive
Ajo, AZ 85321



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