Organ Pipe Cactus and Mines Loop Trail
ElevationAscent: 575' 175 m
Descent: -575' -175 m
High: 1,968' 600 m
Low: 1,565' 477 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)
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“An iconic Sonoran Desert run with a diversity of plants (an abundance of Saguaro cactus), animals, and geology.”— Matt Freeman
Consider beginning this run with a stop at the visitor center for maps, situational awareness, and all the warnings and intel available from the National Park Service.
This loop trail is not in the best shape, mostly caused by 4-wheeler damage, but the changing scenery is what makes this trail a great outdoor experience.
After 0.8 miles, arrive at Red Tanks Tinaja and perhaps there will still be water in the tank. Check out signs of critters digging in the gravel to access water trapped in the tank. If there is visible water, watch out for bees. After checking out the tank, head up the trail to Baker Mine (1.8 miles). Most of these trails were constructed to access mines in the local area and are now used by 4-wheelers, perhaps US Border Patrol.
Head up a fairly steep draw, and over a saddle towards Milton Mine (1.4 miles). The saddle will greet you with a short segment of singletrack. Mexico is visible in the distance, and your cell phone may welcome you to Mexico.
After Milton Mine, the trail is a well-traveled 4-wheel drive road to the Milton Mine Trailhead (1.6 miles). Here you'll find a tall steel lattice tower with a blue LED flashing light. This tower functions as an emergency call station. Push the red button, and likely US Border Patrol will quickly show up to provide aid. Head up the road for a mile, and along the way notice the second humanitarian aid water station on your right.
From the Senita Basin Trailhead, continue up the drainage. There are a few information signs describing the local area and history that are worth checking out. At 0.2 miles, take the junction to the left and proceed clockwise on the Senita Basin Loop Trail. After leaving the Senita Basin Loop Trail, drop in the dry wash and run a mile on dry sand/gravel and return to the Red Tanks Tinaja. This wash is quite a beautiful segment of trail with an excellent display of the desert. Notice a few scattered black plastic gallon bottles in the shape of old bleach bottles. These water containers were likely discarded by illegal immigrants traveling from Mexico. Climb out of the wash as you return to the Red Tanks, and then head backtrack to the trailhead.
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We need help with the following missing trail information:
Dogs Allowed, Features, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: NPS - Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument