Ajo Mountain Loop

3.5/5 (6 reviews)
Ajo, Arizona (Pima County)
Last Updated: 01/12/2022

Trail Information


Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was created in 1937 as a way to preserve a representative area of the Sonoran Desert. The new monument was part of a movement in the National Parks to protect not just scenic wonders but also the ecological wonders of the country. Over 75 years later, Organ Pipe Cactus is now one of the best preserved examples of the Sonoran Desert wilderness. Within the monument, signs of human use are also preserved and protected. The monument is the site of culture and history that reflect long, widespread and diverse use by American Indian, Mexican, and European groups. The intersection of these three cultures is significant archeologically, geographically, and internationally. Gentle spring rains, turbulent summer skies, and the penetrating sun set the stage at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Volcanic layered mountains, ribbons of washes and expansive valleys are the backdrop for this International Biosphere Reserve. Species of plants and animals that have adapted to desert life present themselves in daily and nocturnal performances. Take a front row seat along a scenic drive, a wilderness hike, or camping among the stars. Over a hundred miles of scenic drives, dozens of miles of hiking trails, campgrounds, new exhibits and ranger programs help you experience, observe, and explore the American Desert. Source: http://www.nps.gov/orpi/learn/index.htm

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

This is more of a scenic drive then an off road trail. It is a groomed gravel road that traverses the Organ Pipe National Monument area. It has numerous scenic vistas, picnic areas and hiking trails along the route. A permit is required for all vehicles travelling on the route. You can pick up a permit at the Rangers Station at the entrance to the park, directly across the road from the trailhead.
The trail is close to the southern border.

Trail Reviews

3.5/5 (6)
Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/25/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Really nice trail to visit the east side of Organ Pipe Cactus NM. There are lots of sections of the road that are dirt and they have it mixed with paved areas to protect from erosion. Most any vehicle will have no issue on this road.
Official Crew
Rated 3/5
Visited: 01/12/2022
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

This was a fun little trail to get to some hiking opportunities within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We hiked Bull Pasture and were not disappointed. This trail is not a destination in itself but was great to access hiking trails off of a dirt road, which I think scares away big RVs and people not familiar with dirt road driving. All in all, I would definitely run this trail to hike off this loop again.
Official Crew
Visited: 07/07/2021

Arizona National Forests and State Lands are back open for travel. There are still some very important fire restrictions in place. These restrictions can often change by specific areas.
Official Crew
Temporary Closure
Visited: 06/23/2021

Due to extremely high fire danger, exceptional drought conditions, resource availability, and increased fire activity, the Department of Forestry and Fire Management and the Arizona State Land Department will implement closures to State Trust Land throughout Arizona. These closures are also in conjunction with our USFS partners. As of 8am on June 25, 2021, closures will be implemented on state-owned and managed lands in all 15 counties. All state-owned and managed lands are closed to entry for recreational purposes, including hunting, camping, and off-road vehicle use. Target shooting and fireworks are prohibited year-round. AZ State Land Closures Notice
Official Crew
Rated 2/5
Visited: 03/18/2019

The trail is well groomed and passable by all stock vehicles. The road is maintained for all passenger type vehicles but there are a couple bumpy sections where you have to go pretty slow. The picnic sites are great because several of them have shade covering. Easy trail to access some incredible hiking.

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