El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar

a view into a large crater atop a volcanic cinder cone in El Pinacate.
Elegante Crater at El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar, our sister park and a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve.

El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar


From our weathered-softened peaks, you can see our fiery younger sister park to the south, El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar, located in the Mexican state of Sonora. Like many sisters, Organ Pipe Cactus and Pinacate share a family resemblance--but with some dramatic differences.

Traveling from Organ Pipe to Pinacate you enter a surreal volcanic landscape. Familiar saguaro and ocotillo rise from a bed of crunchy black cinders, stand guard on the edge of huge volcanic craters and cast purple shadows on glowing sunset-lit dunes. Bighorn sheep, black-tailed jackrabbits, gila monsters, and the endangered Sonoran pronghorn live amid the sand, cinders, and playas of Pinacate as well as the bajadas, tinajas, and desert pavement of Organ Pipe Cactus.

Sisters have many things in common. Both parks are located near one another in the Sonoran Desert, both have desert life abounding - from cacti to Sonoran pronghorn, and both have been designated as UNESCO International Biosphere Reserves. The staffs of both parks cooperate on many projects to protect their respective natural and cultural heritages for the people of their own nations and of the world.

Last updated: June 10, 2023

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Mailing Address:

10 Organ Pipe Drive
Ajo, AZ 85321



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