Arizona's wilderness ... seemingly miles from nowhere, yet as close as the imagination. Places where life is protected from, well ... everyday life. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Arizona is responsible for 47 wilderness areas totaling 1.4 million acres. Congress established these areas through the Arizona Wilderness Act of 1984 and the Arizona Desert Wilderness Act of 1990. Here, solitude, not a cell phone, rings out. Water is measured, not metered. The air whispers with the sounds of wildlife, rather than the dull hum of the Interstate. And literally, you can hear a pin drop.
Wilderness provides protection, but also a sense of adventure, history and discovery. The special commitment here is not meant to keep people out, but to keep people in ... that is, in a mindset where the desert's environment is to be respected, appreciated and enjoyed; maybe for a few hours, a few days and certainly for the lifetime of generations to come, so that they will know what Arizona once was and still holds true to itself.
The list below provides links to more information. Published Management Plans are available for many areas. You may also be interested in our Environmental/NEPA Documents Library.
LEAVE NO TRACE: Wilderness visitors need to be aware of their impact on the land and know how to reduce it. Education is key to preserving the ecological health of our wildlands. Education is more effective than regulation in changing people's behavior. The following Leave No Trace principles are recommended as a guide to minimizing the impact of your wilderness visits.
Principles of Leave No Trace
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Minimize your impact on the land and on other visitors, but be sure to enjoy your visit as well. For more information, visit the Leave No Trace home page.
SAFETY: As with other types of outdoor activities, wilderness travel poses potential hazards. You may encounter flashfloods, poisonous snakes and insects, poisonous plants, or lightning storms. Be aware of your exposure to heat or cold. Don't panic if you get lost. Carry an ample supply of water with you since many areas may not have adequate or uncontaminated water sources.