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Little Log

RVing the Greater Ajo Area

Adding to our series of lesser known RV destinations, we’ve chosen the vast desert area around Ajo, Arizona as another excellent example of places most RVers have likely not visited. Indeed they may have traveled through this area en route to the popular Mexican destination of Rocky Point (aka Puerto Peñasco) fewer than 100 miles to the south. But few have ever taken the time to explore. In a separate Postcard Stephanie has provided a more complete description of the town of Ajo, and looked beneath the cover of this interesting book to find things that we think many RVers would enjoy. Our purpose with this article is limited to outlining the options for where to park your RV when you’ve decided to check this out with a personal visit.

The town of Ajo has several RV parks. None pretends to be an all-purpose resort destination, as for the most part people come here to enjoy what the area uniquely offers: fabulous winter weather, lush desert scenery; a friendly small community; endless on- and off-road trips by car, 4WD or quad; and access to both the pristine Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the remote protected areas of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. For those that prefer a commercial RV park there are several options. Our personal choice has become the exceptionally friendly and nicely landscaped Ajo Heights RV Park.

This park is only open seasonally, and as a consequence you'll find no park models here — just traveling RVers. It is a relatively small park (fewer than 40 sites) is unusually welcoming of persons choosing to stay a day, a week, or several months.

But this area also attracts those whose preference runs to boon docking. There is a not-known-to-outsiders scenic loop that starts and ends in Ajo, and which encircles the local peak — Ajo mountain. You’ll find occasional RVers parked in carefully chosen scenic spots. This is a well-maintained dirt/desert road accessible by any vehicle, and courses through some special desert vista areas. Some RVers, like us, like to travel with a 4WD in tow. There are an endless number of trails branching off that invite the rough and bumpy rides these types of remote back roads can offer.

Those who would enjoy a few rounds of golf at the somewhat rustic local 9-hole course will find they can park their rigs overnight right there as well — about a 30 second walk to the first tee. Others seeking dry camping options will find partly developed RV sites on the back road that circles east of Ajo and leads to the local air strip. You are more likely to find a model RC plane flying there than a real one.

But Ajo is really a very large area, and includes the extremely secluded Wildlife Refuge to the north that can be entered only through a number of locked gate entries (combination to the locks are furnished at the Visitor Center in Ajo). A sprinkling of primitive dry camping sites in this area are truly reserved for those who covet a remote camping experience that can only be described as the ultimate experience in solitude. The night stars rule.

Some 45 minutes to the south is Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. While the Campground does not offer utilities, it offers uniquely landscaped paved sites suitable for rigs to 40’. Probably no other desert camping anywhere can offer the lush desert garden setting of Organ Pipe.

Each site has its own barbecue and picnic table. The sites are well spaced, and this campground has been on our own private list of “Favorite” RV parks for many years.

We’ve limited our comments here primarily to identifying the many and varied options for spending time in an RV. A more complete description of the attractions to be found in the greater Ajo area can be found in Stephanie’s Postcard from this area.