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Desert View Trail, AZ

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Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Southwest > Ajo
2 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 1.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,738 feet
Elevation Gain 164 feet
Accumulated Gain 180 feet
Avg Time Round Trip <1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
6  2017-02-21 rwstorm
9  2016-04-02 trekkin_gecko
8  2016-04-02 BiFrost
5  2016-04-02 rwstorm
15  2016-04-02 tibber
54  2013-12-28
Organ Pipe (ORPI) Dec2013
17  2013-03-22 tibber
21  2010-03-19 tibber
Page 1,  2
Author writelots
author avatar Guides 19
Routes 39
Photos 5,577
Trips 337 map ( 3,894 miles )
Age 46 Female Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar
Sun  6:17am - 6:33pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
A safe place to see some cacti.
by writelots

Overview: From the NPS: Leaving from the Group Campground,this trail leads you on a trip though native vegetation and tells a story of how people use the desert to make a living.

Hike: This short loop leads through the low foothills near the visitor center - the most heavily used part of the park. However, as the trail winds through stands of Organ Pipe, Saguaro, Ocotillo, Barrels, Hedgehog, Prickly Pear, Cholla and Mammilaria, even the most jaded desert visitor can find themselves enchanted by the sheer diversity of life found on these slopes. The interpretive signs are subtle and have some fun facts, mostly focused on the uses of the plants to the native peoples. The grade stays even and steady, making for nearly mindless walking as you explore the finer details of the desert.

Just when you think it's all going to be down in the valley and washes, the trail begins a gradual climb up to a ridge line which offers amazing views to the south and west. Sweeping vistas of Sonoyta Valley and the pink granite of the Cuabi Mountains in nearby Mexico open up, and a couple of benches are placed for capturing a desert sunset. When we visited, the views were crowded with RVers, equipped with cameras, tripods and glasses of red wine. Too bad the sunset was lackluster...

The trail meanders back down to the group campground, a little steeper in this direction, with some steps installed to keep everything smooth and easy. It's a perfect hike for visitors, to those uninitiated with the Sonoran Desert and for seasoned hikers looking for a quick stroll to round out the sunset.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2010-03-23 writelots
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Desert View Trail
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    every time I've stayed in this campground (March 2010, 2013) I've done this hike. Wendy always had us do this as a prelude to the following day's hike and I think it's good tradition; altho today we also did Arch Canyon hike. After hanging at camp for an hour or so, it was time to take our hike to catch the sunset at Desert View ridge.

    This is a great little interpretive hike that gets you up close and personal with the flora. It's a time to interact with the people you're with and your environment; a pleasurable time. I found a way to keep Amy in tow and that is to regale her with my fabulous conversation as generally when she hits the trail, she's off and you're left in her dust. I actually left her behind with the others if only for a moment to get some video of something other than HAZbutts.

    Once you hit the ridgeline, your view opens up pretty nicely to the west and to the Cuabi Mountains in Mexico as well as the cities of Lukeville and Sonoyta. We were lucky to have the ridgeline pretty much to ourselves to enjoy our "happy hour" beverages and snacks as we watched the sun slowly sink behind the Sonoyta mountains to our west.

    Even with a clear sky the hues of the sunset are just :y: and with the foreground of the desert with some mountains, you can get some decent photos without hardly trying. What a great way to spend time in the Organ Pipe Cactus Wilderness. Once the sun set Kathy, Amy and I headed down the rest of the trail reading and reacting to the interpretive signs along the way down; altho we needed Amy's headlamp to see the signs. We ended up camp-whacking back to our campsite; not something I'm apparently good at. Nonetheless we girls had fun and I think laughed that whole time.

    Happy Hour hike video: ... EOfw
    Desert View Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    angela had planned for us to do a little sunset hike
    easy path through lots of organ pipe cactus up to a ridgeline
    good views of the surrounding mountains, a nice sunset and the lights of lukeville and sonoyta below
    good company, too
    got back to the campground at dark, then got to see some amazingly bright stars
    a good day :)
    Desert View Trail
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrating optionrated 1
    Organ Pipe (ORPI) Dec2013
    ORPI December 2013

    It seems like if it’s winter in Arizona, it’s time to take a trek down to the Mexican Border and go explore Organ Pipe (ORPI) Cactus National Monument. Check out :next:

    Last year saw Mt Ajo tackled :next:

    I’ve had some ORPI backcountry adventures including El Camino del Diablo :next: and Quitobaquito via Puerto Blanco Loop (albeit aborted) :next: plus some others…

    When I arrived at the ORPI Visitor Center today, I asked if there were any “re-opened” areas in the park. Ranger Krystina indicated that they just began issuing limited special permits (5 per day) on Sunday 22Dec2013 to travel 6 miles beyond the "pit toilets" to the Dripping Springs trail head. I scored permit #3 for today. This is all part of a grand experiment to reopen the Puerto Blanco Drive loop to Quitobaquito Springs in small increments. Let's hope the experiment is a success! For consideration :next: ... mpacts.pdf

    “Rest of the Day” recap;

    Coffee and bagel at 48th & Ray Road Einstein’s - rendezvous with additional Trekkers
    Shawmut Trainspotting Loop aborted due to a Border Patrol activity - 2 males being taken into custody at sunrise
    Ajo open pit mine visit
    11 miles from Visitor Center to Dripping Spring TH
    Also had time waiting for sunset at Desert View Trail and Victoria Mine Trail
    Left the park after a disappointing sunset for Mexican food at Marcella’s in Ajo

    7.86 miles, 640 AEG (64 floors) on Fitbit
    264 total photos (62 on iPhone, 108 on 6D, 61 on 7D, 33 on rebel XT)- will post some when I get the chance

    PS. That annual NPS pass came in handy once again!
    PPS. Will Puerto Blanco Loop be recovered as an ORPI backcountry option? :next: ... drive.html :)
    PPS. Still planning that El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve. Can we make this happen in 2014? and ... -altar.htm

    Sent from my iPad
    Desert View Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After barely arriving at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument late Friday afternoon, Wendy had us out on the trail for our sunset hike. As usual, there's lots of cool flora and the temperature was nice. And as usual, I was impressed by the height of the hedgehog cactus. There were only 3 of us but we all enjoyed taking our pictures especially as we got toward the top of the hill on the SW side.

    The chollas were lit up nicely. Wendy brot us up some libations to enjoy while we walked around the ridge seeing different flora, in particular lots of Mammilaria. Soon the sun was almost completely down so we made our way back to camp which happened to be right next to the trail.

    We made ourselves dinner, enjoyed a nightcap and hit the hay. However, it took the other campsite folks a little longer to quiet down so that we could simply enjoy the howl of the coyotes. Tomorrow, Mount Ajo.

    a four minute video (for best quality watch in HD):
    Desert View Trail
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After circling the campground cuz I missed the turn to our camping spot, we finally pulled in and were barely out of Tonto and barely made greetings when Wendy says, "let's go". I'm thinking "uh, where?" but I obediently and quick as I can load up my little water pack and we start walking.

    We ended up on an Interpretive Trail and were introduced to some new cactus and brush (today I spent 1/2 hour trying to find the name for this cool bush we saw - I could only think of the word flexible and via a thesaurus I finally came up with "limberbush"). It is an interesting bush also called Sangre de Christo as when cut or injured the twigs exude irritating sap that dries blood-red.

    As we made our way up on the path I saw this red glow on the Organ Pipes so we made our way off the path and toward those incredible cactus. Wendy said the red thorns are unique to those cactus. The light wasn't very good so it was hard to get a good picture of this phenomenon. We were also enthralled by the hedge-hogs, especially their height.

    And before I know it, John has already got my brother to the top of the hill we were starting to climb. Fortunately I had told Wayne that if you can't find John, look up as he'll be on top of something so Wayne got an early indoctrination as to what happens when you follow John :lol:. Wendy and I eventually joined them. We tried to find a place to get a good photo in-between all of the folks lounging on their chairs with their red wine. We did get some rather perturbed looks so moved on to another part of the hill.

    As were going back down the hill some additional folks were coming up with their chairs and wine. We informed them the sun had pretty well set but they weren't deterred. I can only imagine how the walk down in the dark is on this somewhat steep area with all of those chairs and glasses of wine in hand ;) .

    We finished off the nite with some cuba libras, bbqed brisket, bs schnapps - threw the sleeping bags on the ground and enjoyed a nite of cat naps under the stars. :D

    Permit $$

    Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
    $8 fee per car for a 7 day pass. Backpacking and backcountry camping is not allowed at this time due to an increase in illegal border activity.. Camping is available in the two designated campgrounds only.

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Phoenix: Take I-10 west to AZ Highway 85. Follow south through Buckeye, Gila Bend, Ajo and Why. The Monument is 4 miles from Why. The Kris Eggle Visitor Center is 22 miles (35.4 km) south of Why. The trailhead is located in the parking area for the Group Camp site.

    From the Tucson: Take Ajo Road, which turns into Arizona Highway 86 through Sells and Why, then turn south on Arizona Highway 85.
    page created by writelots on Mar 23 2010 5:42 pm
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