2. Drive The Ajo Mountain Scenic Route
Scenic roads don’t get much more remote or spectacular than the Ajo Mountain Drive, located just across Highway 85 from the monument’s visitor center.
While the 21-mile route is the most popular scenic drive in the monument, it was mostly free of other vehicles when I drove it on a November Saturday, adding to the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.
Numerous pull-outs are available for stopping and taking in the distant mountain peaks and a wide variety of cactus life. Organ pipe cacti are the obvious stars, but there are plenty of saguaros, chollas, and ocotillos dotting the landscape as well.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving the route yourself, you could take a three-hour ranger-guided tour from January to March, for a small fee.
The scenic road is mostly gravel and is usually passable by passenger cars, although RVs over 24…