From Safford (115 miles, 2.5 to 3 hours) Take US Highway 70 west for about 73 miles. Just before Globe, turn left on State Highway 77. Drive 30 miles to Aravaipa Road (at Central Arizona College). Turn left and go 12 miles to the West trailhead along a paved and graded dirt road. From the trailhead, it is a 1.5-mile hike through Nature Conservancy land to the west wilderness boundary.
The access road is not regularly maintained, and crosses Aravaipa Creek several times in the last 10 miles. High-clearance vehicles are recommended. Towing assistance is 50 miles away. Flash flooding can make the road impassable. Call ahead (928-348-4400) for road conditions.
Hikers from the east end trailhead should be aware of the parking situation. The wilderness boundary is located 1.5 miles west of the Information Kiosk and restroom (new trailhead). It is recommended that visitors park there and hike through The Nature Conservancy property the remaining distance due to road conditions and possible flooding. Open space at the junction of Turkey Creek and Aravaipa Creek provide additional parking options depending on flood danger.
From Phoenix (188 miles, 4.5 to 5 hours): Take US Highway 60 to Globe. At Globe, continue east on US Highway 70 to the Klondyke Road (8 miles past Ft. Thomas). Turn right onto this graded dirt road, go 24 miles to the "Y" intersection, turn right and go another 16 miles to the trailhead. From the trailhead parking and kiosk, it is a 1.5-mile hike through Nature Conservancy land to the east wilderness boundary.
From Tucson (148 miles, 2.5 to 3 hours): Take Interstate 10 east to Willcox. In Willcox, take Exit 340 north (left) toward Bonita along the Ft. Grant Road. At the "T" in Bonita, turn left and go 38 miles to the East trailhead. From the trailhead parking and kiosk, it is a 1.5-mile hike through Nature Conservancy land to the east wilderness boundary.
From Safford (53 miles, 1 to 1.5 hours) Take US Highway 70 west past Pima and turn left on the Klondyke Road. On this graded dirt road, go 24 miles to the "Y" intersection, turn right and go another 16 miles to the trailhead. Go through the gate to park at the trailhead. From the trailhead parking and kiosk, it is a 1.5-mile hike through Nature Conservancy land to the east wilderness boundary.
Is there a road connecting East and West ends of the canyon?
Travel between the two ends of the wilderness is best done using major highways. For those who are seeking a back country adventure, the "Rug Road" connects upper Turkey Creek on the East end of the wilderness with the town of Mammoth near the West end of the wilderness. This is an extremely rugged four-wheel-drive route for very experienced 4WD operators. Travelers should allow two days for this 84 mile trip and pack plenty of water and emergency supplies. The road begins in Turkey Creek, about 1.8 miles south of the East trailhead and ends on Copper Creek Road in Mammoth.
The Aravaipa Canyon Road (West end) says "local traffic only." Can I pass through?
Yes. Aravaipa Road is a county-maintained road that has washed out in the past. Due to these occurrences, travel is at your own risk. Having a permit gives you permission to pass through.
Safford Field Office
711 14th Avenue
Safford, AZ 85546-3337
Phone: (928) 348-4400
Fax: (928) 348-4450
Field Manager: Scott Cooke
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F