Arch Canyon to Arch Rock
Over the long weekend (really, our days don’t matter), we did a few hikes in Organ Pipe National Monument. First up was Arch Canyon to Arch Rock off the Ajo Road loop. The hike was short, at just 3.1 miles, but it was very hard. It started off innocently with a meandering trail out through bushes, trees, flowers and cacti. After .6 miles the gloves come off and the trail heads almost straight up rock faces, scrambles, and ledges. The next mile climbs about 1200′! Along the way you are treated to astonishing views…the kind where you stop, look around, and appreciate. Towards the top there are a couple spurs to explore and we checked each of them out before heading back down the way we’d come.
Milton Baker Mines Trail
Easier. That’s what we decided today should be. This hike was an out and back from the Red Tanks Trailhead to Baker Mine and then on to Milton Mine before returning to the car. It was around 8 miles and relatively flat with somewhere around 800′ of climbing. The trails were easy with some sections of shale. Views along the way are of the surrounding hillsides, mountains, vegetation and all manor of cacti. At first we looked for the tallest, then the one with the most arms, the craziest angled arms, the ugliest, and the proudest. The mines weren’t much to look at really, not after all we saw in Death Valley!
Halfway back I started to think about what cookie ingredients we had. As I sit typing this, I’m enjoying homemade peanut butter cookies. Mmmmmm.
Victoria Mine and Desert View Trails
The last hikes we did here in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument left right from the Twin Peaks Campground. Both are easy with good desert views and plenty to look at. This is the day I first noticed the fishhook cactus. They are so tiny and dwarfed by all the big saguaros, organ pipes, and chollas. The hike to Victoria Mine was 4.5 miles with negligible climbing. There are a couple structures left, and a few covered mine shafts that are fenced off. I still wanted to hike more so I added on the Desert View Trail that loops up around the hillside by the campground. For dinner, Derek is making a sweet potato lentil stew with biscuits. The trailer is filled with delicious smells!!!