Big Horn Mountains Wilderness Area

Location and Description

This 21,000-acre wilderness lies 60 miles west of Phoenix in western Maricopa County. The precipitous 1,800-foot-high Big Horn Peak and neighboring desert plain escarpments give the wilderness exceptional scenic value, especially noticeable along Interstate Highway 10 south of the area. The Hummingbird Spring Wilderness, northeast of this area, is separated from the Big Horn Wilderness by a jeep trail.

Nine miles of the jumbled Big Horn Mountains ridgeline cross the wilderness. The central mountainous core is surrounded by smaller hills, fissures, chimneys, narrow canyons, and desert plains. This wilderness offers many recreation opportunities such as hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, photography and nature study. Rugged ridges challenge expert climbers, while side canyons and plains offer easier hiking.

This wilderness contains many desert species, such as the desert bighorn sheep, Gila monster, kit fox and desert tortoise. Golden eagles, prairie falcons, barn owls and great horned owls nest in the cliffs.

Access

This wilderness area is a two-hour drive from Phoenix. Access to the wilderness can be gained by exiting Interstate 10 at the Tonopah or Salome Road exits. Unmaintained dirt roads extend to the wilderness area's eastern, northern and western boundaries. Because road conditions vary and some routes are primitive, high-clearance and four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended.

Nonfederal Lands

Some lands around and within the wilderness are not federally administered. Please respect the property rights of the owners and do not cross or use these lands without their permission.

Related Maps

  • 7.5-minute Topographic: Big Horn Peak, Burnt Mountain, Little Horn Peak
  • 15-minute Topographic: Big Horn Mountains
  • 1:100,000 BLM Surface Management: Salome
  • Game and Fish Management Unit 42

For more information contact: 


 Hassayampa Field Office 
21605 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027-2929
Phone: (623) 580-5500
Fax: (623) 580-5580
Field Manager:  Rem Hawes
Hours:  7:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., M-F


"Only through my own personal contact with civilization had I learned to value the advantages of solitude."
Sigurd Olson, 1958