How to Obtain a Permit
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area
Permit System

aravaipa canyonA permit is required to visit Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. The fee is $5.00 per person per day. Canyon use is limited to 50 people per day, 30 from the West end and 20 from the East end. This system helps to reduce the potential impacts to the environment caused by human use and allows visitors to enjoy the canyon's solitude.

Are advance purchased permits recommended?

Yes. It is risky to wait until the day of your hike to try to get a permit. Permits may be purchased in advance using any one of several methods.

You can use the link provided on this website.  If you obtain your permit through the internet you are required to pay with a credit card for your permit to be issued.

You may also call the Safford Field Office at (928) 348-4400. If you purchase your permit through the Safford Field Office, payment is also required in advance through cash, check or credit card.

Those individuals that request a permit within a few days of their hike may pay at the Klondyke (East) or Brandenburg (West) ranger stations with check or cash. Permits are only issued by the rangers if available. No Golden Eagle, Golden Age or Golden Access card discounts are provided.

How can I find out about available hiking dates?

The permit system is a viewable calendar showing the number of available permits or sold out dates up to 13 weeks from the current date. If you don't personally have internet capability, you may access the internet at most libraries. You may also call, fax or write to the Safford Field Office and we will check the calendar for you and issue your permit.

What to Expect



Natural Wonders


How far ahead may I purchase a permit?

You can purchase a permit up to 13 weeks in advance of the day you wish to hike. Please remember that spring and fall weekends are most popular and permits sell out almost immediately on the opening day 13 weeks in advance.

Once I have my permit, can I change dates or group size?

No. You must cancel and purchase a separate permit. Due to expected large numbers of other visitors simultaneously purchasing permits for specific dates, sold permits are final -- no date or group size changes will be made. So be sure of your trip plans before you buy your permit. Refunds are available for canceled trips, however a $30 processing fee will be charged.

How do I cancel a permit?

You must call the BLM Safford Field Office in advance of your permitted dates to cancel. A $30 processing fee is charged for refunds requested.

Are permits required?

Yes. Each solo hiker or group trip leader will be issued a permit number following confirmation of payment of fees. This number must be carried by the hiker or trip leader during the trip. Infants carried in backpacks do not need a permit.

How long will it take to get my permit after I make my purchase?

If you book online (this requires payment with a credit card), your permit number will be displayed on the screen immediately after completing the purchase; a permit will not be mailed. Your permit number is your authorization to hike; make a note of it or print the final permit screen.

If you call for your permit and payment is made by credit card, you will be given your permit number immediately over the phone.

If you pay by cash or check, a permit will be mailed to you once the BLM Safford Field Office receives your payment. Be sure to allow sufficient time for your payment to arrive at the BLM office and for your permit to be mailed to you. If payments are not received within seven days the permit will be automatically canceled.

Is it possible to get a permit to hike without buying a permit in advance?

Yes. Hiking dates are generally available during the off-season (winter and summer). For those desiring a more unplanned, spontaneous visit to the area, any available dates can be obtained in person, first-come, first-served, by calling or visiting the Safford Field Office or stopping by the Ranger Stations located at Klondyke (East) and Brandenburg (West). However, Rangers are often in the canyon and not at the Ranger Station to issue permits, even if space is available.

I am a TNC (The Nature Conservancy) member. Can I hike the first mile on the West side of the canyon without a permit?

No, the BLM and TNC have an agreement to limit the impacts on public and private land by limiting use to 30 people per day through the West entrance. This includes members of TNC.

I just want to walk in a few minutes and turn around. Do I need a permit?

Yes, the permit system was instituted to protect sensitive habitat and to provide a place of peace and solitude to human visitors. The most frequently used area of the canyon is the first section, thus the most impacted. A permit is always required.

Are permits required to hike the side canyons if I do not enter the main canyon of Aravaipa Creek?

A permit is required to hike all canyons within the wilderness. Those wishing to hike or hunt on the tablelands within the wilderness are not required to have a permit but cannot enter any canyon bottoms.

If I have an Arizona Game and Fish Department permit to hunt in this unit, do I need to obtain a BLM permit?

Yes. A permit is necessary for all days both hunting and passing through the canyon.

What are the special hunting and fishing regulations for the wilderness?

Licensed hunters are permitted in Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, but fishing is prohibited. All hunters using the canyon must obtain an Aravaipa permit. Hunting dogs are not permitted.

To ensure visitor safety, discharging firearms is prohibited in the canyon bottoms including Aravaipa Creek, the side canyons, and Turkey Creek. Above the rim of the canyon, hunting is allowed 50 vertical feet above the creek bottom. This rule does not apply to archery hunters.

No fishing is allowed in Aravaipa Creek. This is to protect the native fish found here.

Are fees required?

Yes. Fees are payable prior to permit authorization for each visitor, both adults and children. Infants carried in backpacks do not need a permit.

What are the fees?

$5.00 per person per day.

Does my Golden Eagle give me a discount on fees?

No. Golden Eagle passes are only good for entrance fees to areas such as national parks or some national conservation areas. The fees charged for Aravaipa Canyon are use fees, which are not part of the Golden Eagle program.

What about Golden Age and Golden Access cards?

We do not accept Golden Age and Golden Access cards.

Where do I pay my fees?

Fees for online permits can only be paid by credit card. Fees for permits issued by phone can be paid by credit card or check mailed to the BLM Safford Field Office; checks must be received before a permit number is issued. Fees for permits issued the week of the hike are paid at self-service stations at each trailhead by check or cash.

Are fee refunds made?

Yes, refunds can be made, but processing them substantially increases the cost of administering the area. Therefore, a $30 processing fee is charged. So be sure of your trip plans before requesting a permit and paying fees. If you need to request a refund, you must call the BLM Safford Field Office (928-348-4400) to cancel your permit at least 24 hours prior to your permitted entry date.

What happens if access to trailheads is impossible after I pay my fees?

If weather conditions have made access to the trailhead or access points impossible on your permitted date, you may reschedule another available date within 13 weeks of your original permit at no additional cost. Call the Safford Field Office to obtain your new permit.

  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