Ajo's desert heart

Time to recharge ― and let out your inner coyote ― in a historic town

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Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The park is a desert gem where patient visitors might see a kangaroo rat or a rattlesnake. Stop at the Visitor Center for a map and drive along N. Puerto Blanco Dr. HOW MUCH: $8 per vehicle. WHERE: From Ajo, take State 85 south for 34 miles; www.nps.gov/orpi or 520/387-6849.

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Want to take advantage of that SUV? High-clearance two-wheel-drive vehicles can travel the 17-mile Charlie Bell Rd., slicing among ridges and ironwood-laced washes in this primitive, wildlife-rich preserve. At 8½ miles, a historic windmill makes a good picnic spot. WHEN: 7:30-4:30 Mon-Fri (closed 12-1). WHERE: Free maps and required permits are available at refuge headquarters, 1611 N. Second Ave.; www.fws.gov or 520/387-6483.

 

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