Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

3 Days - Ajo, AZ
Mar 10 - Mar 12, 2023
Activity Level
Skill Level
All Levels


Registration deadline: February 1, 2023

Springtime in the Sonoran Desert Inn is quite stunning.  One of the more intriguing locations in this region is the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which is home to more than thirty varieties of cacti that thrive in this unforgiving environment.  These incredible succulents are only upstaged after a plentiful wet winter feeds the earth and leaves an explosion of wildflowers in its wake.  However, whether we have a plentiful wildflower season or not, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument offers great photo opportunities.  Join outdoor photographer, Laurence Parent as he guides you to capture some of Arizona’s spectacular desert landscapes.


During the workshop, Laurence will instruct participants on best practices and suggestions for great compositions to bring the most out of your images.  This is the perfect weekend getaway to hone your photography skills and capture beautiful desert scenes in the springtime.

Workshop includes:

  • Photography instruction
  • Two nights lodging based on single occupancy*
  • One dinner, water and snacks
  • Park entrance and permit fees
  • Post-workshop critique

This is a self-drive workshop. Carpooling will be encouraged as we drive to locations


*Double occupancy available for companions traveling together.  A discount will be provided. Please note if you want to share lodging on your order registration and with who.


Ajo is a small rural town and has limited restaurants and markets.  What is available has limited hours so food options are very sparse.  Each of the rooms at the Inn is equipped with microwaves and small refrigerators, so we recommend bringing premade meals to prepare in your room.  Alternately, the Desert Sonoran Inn does have a selection of frozen meals that may be purchased to heat in your room.


Please be aware that the shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting and weather conditions.  We want to give you the best possible photo opportunities.


Day 1 – Friday, March 10, 2023

  • Meet in Ajo at the hotel at 2:00 pm for a brief orientation and presentation by Laurence Parent.
  • Mid-afternoon, the group will check into their rooms.
  • Depart for Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and shoot through sunset.
  • Return to Ajo for dinner.

Day 2 – Saturday, March 11, 2023

  • Rise early to depart for the Monument before sunrise. The group will photograph sunrise at the foothills of the Puerto Blanco Mountains.
  • The group will continue to photograph early morning light at the Red Tank Tinaja – a short 0.8 of a mile one way.
  • Return to Ajo for lunch, download, and critique.
  • Mid-afternoon, the group will depart for Alamo Canyon for late afternoon and sunset shots.
  • Time permitting with our afternoon departure, the group may participate in a 0.9 of a mile hike one way to the old ranch site in Alamo Canyon before transitioning to our sunset location.
  • Return to Ajo for dinner.

Day 3 – Sunday, March 12, 2023

  • Our last early rise to capture the sunrise at Quitobaquito Spring off  South Puerto Blanco Drive.  The group will photograph the spring pond and cottonwoods from the short, easy trail that circles it.
  • Return to the hotel to download images and then check out of the hotel.
  • Break for lunch
  • Meet for one last critique before departing for home early afternoon.

Physical Rating: Moderate

This workshop is moderately strenuous.  Most photo locations are within easy walking distance with the longest location no more than 1.75 miles round trip.  While spring in the desert has comfortable temperatures ranging from the 50’s to the 70’s, participants should plan on sunscreen, a hat, and to stay hydrated.

Lodging During the Workshop

Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center
55 South Orilla Ave
Ajo, Arizona 85321
Phone: (520) 373-0804

Two nights of lodging are included in your workshop fee based on single occupancy.  Double occupancy is available for companions traveling together.  A discount will be provided.

Laurence Parent
Jim Chamberlain
Photo Guide
Rick Sprain
Photo Guide


If you are concerned about the possibility of canceling your trip we urge you to protect your workshop investment and purchase travel insurance.  We strongly recommend that you purchase a travel insurance plan with a “Cancel for Any Reason” option. Many guests have last-minute injuries, emergencies, or life changes that can disrupt their plans only to wish they had a way to recoup their lost expenses.


There are a number of reputable companies that provide Travel Insurance.  For a listing of providers, you can visit  AHPS has partnered with TravelEx Insurance Services over the years and has found them to be reputable and offer comprehensive plans at competitive prices.  For more information visit or contact them at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0147.  Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. W20


CANCELATION POLICY:  All cancelations must be in writing to

  • 91 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $250
  • 61-90 days your workshop fees will be refunded in the form of an AHPS Store Credit Voucher less $250 administrative fee. The remainder of the fees paid can be used toward a future workshop within 18 months of cancelation. The voucher is good for 18 months.
  • 60 days or less until departure – No refund.

If we are able to fill your seat and the workshop runs at full enrollment we will refund your workshop fees less the $100 processing fee.


This cancellation policy applies in every situation and there will be no exceptions made for any reason. We will not issue refunds for cancelations due to illness or late arrivals due to travel delays.


Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel or change any workshop if our minimum enrollment is not met or if situations beyond our control arise that may create unsafe or undesirable travel conditions.  Any cancelation or postponement as a result of situations beyond our control, AHPS does not promise any refunds or credits.  If and when feasible, we will attempt to reschedule the workshop at a later date.  Alternatively, we may decide to issue you credit for a future workshop, or issue a refund, less any non-refundable deposits we have paid to workshop providers on your behalf.

Please note that AHPS is not liable for any additional participant expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations, or any other components booked outside of the workshop.


PAYMENT TERMS:  A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space.  Please refer to the specific workshop for the required deposit.  Final payments are due 90 days prior to departure.  Approximately 15 days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your balance is coming due.   If final payments are not received by 70 days prior to your workshop, your registration is subject to forfeiture including all fees paid to date.

If registering within 90 days of your workshop, full payment is due at the time of registration.