Sonoran super bloom at Mount Ajo, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Sports

Sonoran super bloom at Mount Ajo, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Desert trail hike a border treasure
Framed by saguaros, the beige symmetrical crest of Mount Ajo is visible from the trailhead.
David Garbasz collapses from flower intoxication. Billions of buds and blossoms turn the hardscape into a flowerful fairyland.
The pathway runs alongside golden globs of volcanic tuff.
From the Estes Canyon Trailhead take the established Bull Pasture Trail to the overlook. Circle the south end of Bull Pasture. Bear roughly northeast and penetrate the west wall of the Ajo Range. Continue north to the crest. On the return complete the loop in Estes Canyon.

Sonoran super bloom at Mount Ajo, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Framed by saguaros, the beige symmetrical crest of Mount Ajo is visible from the trailhead.
David Garbasz collapses from flower intoxication. Billions of buds and blossoms turn the hardscape into a flowerful fairyland.
The pathway runs alongside golden globs of volcanic tuff.
From the Estes Canyon Trailhead take the established Bull Pasture Trail to the overlook. Circle the south end of Bull Pasture. Bear roughly northeast and penetrate the west wall of the Ajo Range. Continue north to the crest. On the return complete the loop in Estes Canyon.
Travel basics

Travel: The Estes Canyon Picnic Area and Trailhead is 10.9 miles out the 21-mile, one-way Ajo Mountain Drive, an improved dirt road suitable for most vehicles. Pick up a free interpretive guide from the visitor center and then cross AZ-85 to begin the scenic drive. Pit toilet, no water. No dogs or bikes on the trail.

Fees and Campground: The monument is managed by the National Park Service. $25 per vehicle for seven days, or show your federal lands pass. The Twin Peaks Campground is $20 per night. Reservations required during peak season, January through March. The peaceful village has 208 sites, solar showers and starry nights.

Distance and Elevation Gain: 9 miles; 2,700 feet of climbing

Time: 5½ to 7½ hours

Difficulty: Trail; navigation moderate; Class 2-plus; no exposure; best months are November through March. Carry all the water you will need.

Maps: Mount Ajo, AZ 7.5’ Quad; Trails Illustrated No. 224, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Reader Comments
click here to add your event
Area Events