THE AJO SCENIC LOOP

This is a 10.9 mile drive over a well maintained gravel road. It will take you through the heart of the Sonoran Desert. Essentially all Sonoran desert plants, for this elevation, are readily spotted on this easy self guided tour. Many say there are more Organ Pipe Cacti here than in the Organ Pipe National Monument. Saguaro, Organ Pipe, Hedgehog, Barrel, Prickly Pear and Cholla Cacti, Ocotillo and Jojoba, Mesquite, Iron Wood, Palo Verde and Elephant Trees, Fair Duster and Brittle Brush all are well represented or in abundance as are many more desert varieties.

  In addition, there are great desert and mountain views. There are unusual rock formations such as Balanced Rock, The Pillar and Wind Swept Rock. The Scenic Loop Road brings you in from behind A Mountain, gives you a final over view of Ajo, then returns you to Highway 85, about 0.7 miles West of the starting point.

The Plaza
  Mileage from the Plaza will be used to provide directions.

MILE 0.0, The Plaza, set your odometer or write down your mileage. Head South for Organ Pipe National Monument.

MILE 2.4, Darby Well Road, sign is on the right. Turn right onto Darby Well Road and you are now heading straight for Black Mountain, the big one.

MILE 4.3, junction of Darby Well Road and Scenic Loop Road, this intersection is unmarked but it is obvious, parts of deserted buildings on the right – this is Darby Well. Caution: Occasionally campers will leave an arrow or something on cardboard to their friends. Disregard! Take the right hand road and from this point on, always stay on the best road. To the south, Balancing Rock will be most noticeable from here. The rock pile, overburden removed from the mine, will be on your right. Ahead are great desert view both near and distant.

NOTE: When stopping to take pictures, or to get a better view, pull carefully to the side of the road or park on a side road. Do not pull off the road into the desert!

MILE 6.1, Junction, Mica Mine Road, (unmarked) cuts to the left, but go straight ahead and stay on the main road. Organ Pipe Cacti start to appear among the Saguaro and Ocotillos.

MILE 7.0, The Pillar and Wind Swept Rock, on the left. The Pillar sits against the east face of North Ajo Peak (2776 ft.) and is back in, but Wind Swept Rock is quite close.

MILE 8.1, View of back of “A” Mountain “, (cross on top). “A” Mountain’s official name is Camelback Mountain, elevation 5,573 feet. Here there are Elephant Trees on the right side of the road. Organ Pipe Cacti everywhere!

MILE 9.0, Scenic Loop becomes paved and shortly it becomes Rocalla Avenue.

MILE 9.2, Starting to see part of Ajo.

MILE 9.8, Good over-view of Ajo.

MILE 10.1, Stop sign, corner of Rocalla Avenue and Sahuaro Street. Turn left one block to stop sign. This is the corner of Sahuaro Street and Highway 85. Phoenix to the left, Plaza to right at mile 10.9

Please enjoy the area and help protect it.

Thank You for visiting Ajo!

“The Ajo Scenic Loop”

provided by “Si Como No” a great gift shop, bookstore, jewelry store, etc. in Ajo, Az.

For more information you may call Patty at (520) 387-7001. She’s there Mon-Sat from 10am until 5pm.

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