Organ Pipe National Monument, like nowhere else in the U.S.
Crazy symphonies of prickly arms--nowhere else in the United States can you find these unique living sculptures, Unlike their more well-known Saguaro cousins, Organ Pipe cacti branch out from ground-level. They can grow to the height of nearly a two-story building and can live to be 150 years old. About a two-hour drive from Phoenix, or a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Tucson, Organ Pipe National Monument sits on the Mexican border. Summers are brutal in this unique ecosystem...and you'll have the terrain to yourself. From November through April, though, the weather's nearly perfect for hiking, camping, or just driving along the scenic loop road. This is one of the most stunning, and least-visited, corners of the Sonoran Desert--worth the drive!
By Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
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