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ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT

330, 000 acres. Located in southwestern San Diego along the Mexican border, this National Monument protects an area of the Sonoran Desert. Included are some low mountains and canyons, with organ pipe cactus, saguaro cactus, cholla, and other desert vegetation. Among the region's wildlife are desert bighorn sheep, deer, and coyote.

Activities: Hiking and backpacking are possible, as is horseback riding, but there are only a few maintained trails.

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Most travel must be cross-country. Hunting is prohibited.

Camping Regulations: A free permit, available from the visitor center, is required to camp in the backcountry. There's one backcountry campground,  and camping is permitted elsewhere as well. Pets are prohibited.

Campsites must be at least one-half mile from any road, historic site, or water source. The maximum stay at any one site is two nights. Campfires are not allowed, so a stove must be used for cooking. October through May are the best times to camp here.

For Further Information: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Route 1, Box 100, Ajo, AZ 85321; (602)387-6849.

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