July 14, 2019

Green Valley, Saguaro NP & Ajo, AZ

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Green Valley to Ajo, Arizona
via Saguaro National Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Shadow Ridge RV Park
Distance: 187 miles
Cost: $18 per night (Passport America and AAA)
Duration: 2 nights
Weather: Hot (80) and sunny

After a delicious breakfast and our final hugs and goodbyes, we were back on the road shortly after 9:00. We gassed up south of Tuscon and headed west on Hwy 86 (Ajo Highway).

Our wonderful hosts, Maggie & Dick

Our first stop was at the Saguaro National Park (west entrance) where I spent some time in the Visitor Center before heading out to walk the Desert Loop Trail.

Visitor Center
Saguaro National Park


Fishhook Barrel Cactus


It was beginning to get hot, so we decided to head down the road to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is really more of a zoo, botanical garden and natural history museum all-in-one.  In spite of the rising temperature, I still enjoyed the winding trails around the park, stopping to watch the javelinas napping in the shade. I enjoyed the hummingbird aviary and spent quite a bit of time watching the hummingbirds, chatting with the volunteers, and wishing I had thought to bring my good camera with the zoom lens. Click here to read more about the Desert Museum.

Peccaries (also known as Javelinas) 

Little did I know that I would have an
encounter with some of these guys a few days later!

Back on the road, heading west to Ajo, the highway was very bumpy at times. We passed Kitt Peak Observatory, but didn't have time to stop, but we definitely want to plan for it next time! We arrived at the Shadow Ridge RV Park in Ajo right at 5:00. With our Passport America and AA memberships, we wound up only paying $18 per night. The sites were fairly level (gravel) with full hook-ups, a concrete pad with a picnic table, and oleander shrubs provided some privacy between sites. We had a good Verizon signal, as well as WiFi. It began to cool down as the evening wore on and we heard coyotes in the distance, but other than that, it was a peaceful evening.


  1. What beautiful pictures! Loved them. I'll watch for your 'other' encounter with the little piggies! Ha!

    1. Thanks, Kay. I would have liked to get some close-up shots of the hummingbirds, but wasn't prepared. Ah, those "little piggies" are not my favorites! :)

  2. My husband wants to visit Arizona. We have a very large night blooming cereus cactus (which we have had since 1994.) and I think he has wanted to see Arizona since then! Your photos are great. Hope you continue to see beauty and enjoy peaceful evenings.

    1. Kay G. - Arizona is beautiful with so much to see. I hope you and your husband get a chance to visit someday. Plan for a cooler time of year, though. We were there in mid-October and it was still pretty hot.

  3. I've never been to a desert - I bet that was amazing in person.

    1. Kathy, it was very beautiful in its own way. We prefer the woods and mountains, but can appreciate the desert as long as we don't run into any snakes or scorpions! :)

  4. Isn't the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum fabulous? We've been several times, and never tire of it. The hummingbird aviary is my favorite. It's never easy to get photos of those fast little flying jewels, even with a good camera! But it's so meditative to sit in there and enjoy them buzzing around.
    We love the desert, but I really only enjoy it in the winter. As you mentioned, even in October it's too hot!

    1. Laurel, I would definitely go back. I really do prefer the PNW, but the desert in the winter is very appealing. Maybe then, I wouldn't worry too much about rattlesnakes lurking behind every rock... ;)


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