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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Puerto Blanco Drive, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

(Organ Pipe Cactus)

This is my first time taking the Puerto Blanco Drive in Organ Pipe National  Monument even though I have been here at least 5 times.  This 37 mile back country route into the Sonoran Desert starting at the Visitors Center eventually brings you to the Mexican Border where there is only a short fence and Mexican Rt 2 is on the other side.

The route was partially closed from 2006 to 2014 due to concerns of drug trafficking.  Today it is described as a 4x4 Road, but itwas in good, not great condition and a high clearance SUV or crossover wins able to make the entire route provided it was dry, like it was.  My Prius would not have made it.

The reason I had not taken this road last year with my Tacoma’s was that the rangers describe it in a way that I didn’t think it would have been easy for my truck.  In retrospect it was not an issue, provided you plan sufficient time an go slow.

Note that the road is one way from Visitors Center.

Today I drove my friend Joanne’s Jeep, with Joanne, her service dog Cafe, and Susan, both vandwelling friends.

Since I was driving I didn’t take many pictures, but I didn’t mind as it was a fun drive.

Note that our trip was 44.8 miles to do the full round trip and the spring mentioned below, not 37 miles as mentioned in the literature. It also took over 2.5 hours to complete.

Above you can see the bottom of the recorded trip was directly on the boarder of Mecico.

Above is Quitobaquito Springs that is on the border with Mexico and is a bit off the prescribed route.  It is worth seeing how this spring (oasis) exists in the middle of the Sonoran Desert.

Here is the Border Road.  I have been adjacent to the border road a few times on my travels this year.

Above is the border fence with a couple strands of barbed wire running above and below the center post.

On the other side is Mexico and Mexico RT 2 that runs east and west.

Border patrol vehicles are plentiful in the area controlling border crossings.  There is a border control checkpoint about 18 miles north on the road to Organ Pipe and AZ RT 85 and border crossing at Lukeville, AZ.

If you have the chance you should take the ride on Puerto Blanco Drive, but do so once the road and washes are dry unless you have 4x4 vehicle.


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