Southwest Adventures

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument – Small Group Tours of Arizona

The Sonora Desert is full of fascinating flora and fauna just waiting to be discovered by you.

Organ Pipe Cactus N.M., SunsetGiant Saguaro mingle with Organ Pipe Cactus, Cholla, Ocotillo and many other fascinating plants in this rugged, lovely desert environment. Far from the hustle of city life this region provides a striking beauty and contrast to other locations visited on our small group tours. We take you into the heart of this desert country and introduce you to the interesting survival skills of the animals and plants that live here. Join your group for an informative, leisurely nature walk. The best way to experience the desert is to wander through it, taking your time to observe the little details. We can help you identify different plants, or you can head off on your own for a more individual experience. Watch the sunset turning the cliffs to a gentle orange and the cactus to looming black arms on the horizon before heading back to your comfortable hotel in Ajo.

For information about our tour visit Southwest Adventures.

Organ Pipe Cactus

The organ pipe cactus is a rarity in the USA and this National Monument protects the majority of its population. Flowers open at night and attract insects and bats which serve as pollinators, as the day heats up the flowers close. The organ pipe fruit provides food for birds and other animals, serving as an important part of desert survival. Native Americans have also used these fruit as nourishment. With multiple 6″ columns that grow from the base these cactus can grow to be 23 feet high and takes 150 years to reach maturity.

organ pipe flower


Cholla Cactus, Small group tours of Arizona

Our small group tours of Arizona will introduce you to many other Arizona cactus at Organ Pipe National Monument. For example take a look at the cholla cactus, pictured on the left and right. Often called the “jumping cactus” this cactus multiplies by releasing barbed segments whenever anyone passes by- be careful of these when you walk around, it doesn’t take much for this tough plant to punch through your shoes or attach to your skin. The cholla serves as nesting ground to the cactus wrens, providing safety from predators. The unique stem skeleton you see on the right provides water storage and protection.

Cholla Cactus, Small group tours of Arizona


The spiny ocotillo is the only representative of its family in the US. It isn’t a succulent, so it can’t store water like cactus do, instead it grows leaves after every spell of rain, and then drops them when the soil dries out. It flowers every year, even if it doesn’t grow leaves. It is popularly used as fencing material, especially as a living fence.

organ pipe ocotillo

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has much more to offer our small group tours than just the organ pipe cacti. The famous saguaro cactus also makes it’s home here, as do many unique animals. You will be likely to see the cactus wren, hiding inside of the saguaro, lizards, and roadrunners. Less common animals include the gila monster, desert tortoise and javelina.

Historic Ajo

Historic Ajo

Casa Grande Ruins

Casa Grande Ruins

Arizona Travel – Read about the attractions above that are located close to Ajo and also visited on our southwest vacation. Click on the buttons to go to the information pages.


If you have any questions about our Arizona Tours and New Mexico Travel please feel free to contact us at Our Southwest Adventure tours leave twice a year and can be reserved for a group as a custom adventure travel tour.