U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Sonoran Desert National Monument|
Permits, Fees, Limitations
Visits to the Sand Tank Mountains, located south of Interstate 8, require a Barry M Goldwater Range permit. The permit is free, but requires the recipient to watch a 13 minute safety video. Permits are valid for one year, from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Permits can be obtained in person at BLM's Arizona State Office and Lower Sonoran Field Office.
Motorized and mechanized vehicles, including bicycles must remain on existing routes. Collection, removal, or damage to natural and cultural resources, including artifacts, plants (live or dead), and rocks, is prohibited. The monument's elevation ranges from 1,000 to 4,400 feet, thus summer is rough on visitors. Summer visitors must take extra precautions to drink plenty of water, as temperatures may exceed 110 degrees fahrenheit. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a large brimmed hat are recommended. Make sure your gasoline tank is full, carry additional water and spare tires in your vehicle, and your vehicle is in good working condition. Winter is the most popular time to visit. The desert sun stirs up rattlesnakes and other reptiles as early as February. Flash floods caused by sudden storms can be dangerous in washes, so it is best to have a survival plan to prevent emergency situations. Have good maps with you and know how to use them.
Camping and Lodging
The national monument has no developed camping facilities. BLM’s Painted Rock Campground is located approximately 26 miles west of Gila Bend, AZ. Lodging is available in Casa Grande and Gila Bend, approximately 25 miles west of the Vekol Road interchange on Interstate 8.
Food and Supplies
There are no services on the national monument. Stores and gas stations are available in nearby Gila Bend, AZ, approximately 25 miles west of the Vekol Road interchange on Interstate 8.
There is no first aid station on-site. The nearest hospital is located in Casa Grande, AZ, approximately 30 miles east of the Vekol Road interchange on Interstate 8.
As a result of extreme summer temperatures, activities are best pursued from late October through mid-April. Drinking water is not available, so visitors are reminded to bring plenty of their own water. Vehicles should be in good working order, have a full fuel tank of gas and full size spare tires. Cellular phones do not work in many areas of the national monument. The main access routes and washes are prone to heavy seasonal rains and flash floods. Check with the monument office for current conditions. This is a remote area, recreational opportunities are primitive and access roads are not maintained. No water or trash collection is provided.
Sonoran Desert National Monument