Place

Pinkley Peak

Blooming ocotillos with a triangular team in the background.
During spring, blooming ocotillos surround this iconic peak.

NPS Photo/ B Burnett

Quick Facts

Benches/Seating, Parking - Auto, Picnic Shelter/Pavilion, Picnic Table, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Toilet - Vault/Composting

The colorful Pinkley Peak is the highest peak in the Puerto Blanco Mountains, rising 3,146 feet (959 meters) above sea level. This peak is named in honor of Frank “Boss” Pinkley, who was superintendent of all of the Southwestern national monuments from 1924 until 1939.

Nestled near the base of the peak are accessible restrooms and a shaded picnic area. Take in the stunning views of the peak and the Ajo mountains in the distance.

The Puerto Blanco Mountains are a mix of lava flows and hardened volcanic ash created during the volcanic activity of the Tertiary period, 15-25 million years ago. Pinkley Peak is one of the best exposures of these volcanic rocks anywhere in the monument, prominently displaying bands of rhyolite and tuff.  

How to get there

Pinkley Peak picnic area is 4 miles up North Puerto Blanco Drive on the left. The road to Pinkley Peak picnic area is a two-way, graded dirt road, doable in any passenger car. Beyond the picnic area, North Puerto Blanco road is one-way and requires a 4WD high clearance vehicle.

No official monument trails lead to the top of Pinkley Peak.

Frank Pinkley

(C.E. 1881- C.E. 1940)
Archaeologist, Park Ranger, & NPS Regional Superintendent

We name mountains for people of tremendous impact and service. For the National Park Service, Frank Pinkley was just that. He was a farm boy from Missouri whose doctor ordered him to go to Arizona for six months in 1900 to recuperate from a mild case of tuberculosis. A year later he accepted a government job as caretaker of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, where he lived in a tent and dug his own well.

He went on to become the superintendent of the Southwestern National Monuments. Pinkley administered 27 national monuments across Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. He was excitedly planning the development of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument at the time of his death in 1940. "The Boss," as Pinkley was affectionately known, left an extraordinary legacy. Pinkley wrote monthly essays and articles to his staff, which were compiled into the collection, Ruminations from the Boss. The interesting, often humorous essays written by Pinkley revealed his uncanny ability to explain, instruct, and entice his fellow Park Rangers in a fatherly way.

 

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Last updated: November 7, 2021