Running around the western side of Ajo and its massive New Cornelia mine, The Ajo Scenic Loop runs through the Little Ajo Mountains and a forest of cacti, including the rare Organ Pipe cactus. The trail begins in Ajo on its northern end and terminates on the historic El Camino del Diablo. The route is a well-maintained graded dirt track. Easily driven by any vehicle when dry, flooded washes make the track impassable after heavy rains.
The mountains make for a wonderfully jagged skyline. The New Cornelia mine's colorful tailings are visible along the most southerly portion of the trail. The now inactive mine was Arizona's first open-pit copper mine. Operations began in 1915. Previously only a tiny village, Ajo sprang up as a mining town. Ajo is named after the Spanish word for garlic. Wild garlic grows in the area.
Dispersed campsites are abundant along the southern half of the trail. The sites range from small one-vehicle tent sites to large areas supporting multiple RVs. This is a popular camping area for winter visitors.
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