Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
is a U.S. National Monument
located in extreme southern Arizona
which shares a border with the Mexican
state of Sonora
. The park is the only place in the United States
where the Organ Pipe Cactus
grows wild. Along with Organ Pipe, many other types of cacti
, as well as other desert flora native to the Sonoran Desert
grow here. The Park is a beautiful preservation of the American Southwest
Land for the graded road through the Monument was donated by the Arizona state legislature to the federal government during Prohibition knowing that the north-south road would be improved and make contraband alcohol easier to import from Mexico. In 1937 the land was officially opened as a national monument.
Its position on the Mexican border has led to much criminal activity involving illegal immigrants and drug traffic within the park. On August 9, 2002, Ranger Kris Eggle was shot and killed by a suspected Mexican drug smuggler during a US Border Patrol operation. The visitor center has been named in his honor.
At the north entrance of the park is the city of Why, Arizona; the town of Lukeville, Arizona, sits at the park's southern border. Lukeville is a border crossing point to Sonoita, Sonora, Mexico.