Red Tanks Trail
At the Heart of Survival
People have been a continuing part of the story of this
area for more than 11,000 years. Their early existence is
well documented through Organ Pipe Cactus National
Monument and the northern Sonoran Desert region. Over
the last 10,000 years they have witnessed the subtle birth
of the Sonoran Desert.
As people traveled through this area some were in search
of distant cities and treasure. Others discovered their
treasures nearby in the rich minerals of the area and
stayed, adapting to this often harsh environment.
At the heart of survival in the desert is the need for
water. Time and erosion formed shallow collection basins
in the rock called tinajas. People, plants and animals
have utilized these water sources as a means of survival
for hundreds of years. The Red Tanks tinaja is one of
many such sites through the area.
Once you reach Red Tanks tinaja, you will have the
opportunity to continue your hike. One choice is the 1.9
mile trail to Baker Mine which passes through impressive
stands of organ pipe cactus. The second choice is the 1.3
mile trail south to Senita Basin. Much of this trail follows
a major wash.