Location and Description
The 10,500-acre Fishhooks Wilderness is located about 30 miles northwest of Safford, Arizona in Graham County. With its scenic vistas and rugged beauty, this isolated wilderness area provides outstanding solitude for visitors. Upper, lower, and middle Fishhooks, Sam, Steer Springs and Dutch Pasture canyons offer pleasant hiking in seldom-visited areas that are tempered with shady riparian vegetation.
The canyon is named for the three canyons that form the hook-shaped curves in the center of the wilderness. There are no trails in this wilderness, so compass-and-map navigation skills are a must for hikers.
Gila Peak, rising to 6,629 feet, supports a border pinyon pine forest, found only in southeastern Arizona. The lower slopes and benches are covered with grassland and chaparral while the area's canyons support riparian vegetation.
From Safford, travel west on Highway 70 for 15 miles, turn right on the Eden Road, and cross the Gila River Bridge. Turn left onto Hot Springs Road and travel 13 miles along the north side of the Gila River on graded dirt county road. One mile past the wire gate across the road and just before the farm fields, turn northeast onto an unmarked dirt road and proceed straight through the junction. Ten miles from the county road is the Diamond Bar Ranch headquarters. From here, drive north for one mile where the wilderness borders the road. Another road branches east at the headquarters forming the wilderness boundary after a half mile. Occasional signs mark the wilderness boundary along these two roads.
The country dirt road is occasionally maintained and generally passable to all vehicles except in wet weather. The ranch roads beyond this are accessible by high-clearance vehicles.
Obtain a recreation permit from the San Carlos Apache Indian Tribe before crossing Reservation lands.
- 7.5-minute Topographic: Gila Peak, San Carlos NE, Ash Creek Ranch
- 1:100,000 BLM Surface Management: Clifton, Globe
- Game and Fish Management Unit 28
For more information contact:
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
"Though American scenery is destitute of many of those circumstances that give value to the European, still it has features, and glorious ones, unknown to Europe . . . the most distinctive, and perhaps the most impressive characteristic of American scenery is its wilderness."
Thomas Cole, 1836