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BLM > Arizona > What We Do > National Conservation Lands > Wilderness Areas > Needle's Eye
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Needle's Eye Wilderness Area

Location and Description

The 8,760-acre Needle's Eye Wilderness is located about 20 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona, in Gila County.

The Mescal Mountains trend northwest across the center of the area where the southwest flank forms a spectacular striped dip-slope of Paleozoic limestone over 2,500 feet high. Slicing through this range, is the Gila River, which enters 3 canyon segments with 1,000-foot walls known as the Needle's Eye. A deep, entangled riparian zone covers the narrow river channel, forming the southern boundary of this area. Several small slickrock canyons bisect the area, and wind to the Gila River.

Recreation such as backpack trips, photography, and challenging day hiking can be experienced in this remote unroaded area. This area offers a high level of solitude to hardy adventurers.

Access

Currently there is no legal access to the Needle's Eye Wilderness. From Phoenix, take State Highway 60 to Globe. Along Highway 70 east of Globe, the area can be accessed either from the Coolidge Dam or the Ranch Creek Road. You must obtain a recreation permit from the San Carlos Apache Indian Tribe in advance. Twenty-six miles south of Globe along Highway 77, the area can be accessed near the Dripping Springs Wash. You must obtain permission to cross State Trust lands and private lands in advance.

Nonfederal Lands

Obtain a recreation permit from the San Carlos Apache Indian Tribe before crossing Reservation lands. Ask for permission to cross State Trust lands and private lands in advance.

Related Maps

  • 7.5-minute Topographic: Christmas, Mescal Warm Springs and Coolidge Dam
  • 1:100,000 BLM Surface Management:  Globe
  • Game and Fish Management Unit 24A

For more information contact:


  Tucson Field Office
3201 E. Universal Way
Tucson, AZ 85756
Phone: (520) 258-7200
Fax: (520) 258-7238
E-mail: TFOWEB_AZ@blm.gov 
Field Manager:  Vi Hillman
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., M-F


"How great are the advantages of solitude! How sublime is the silence of nature's ever-active energies! There is something in the very name of wilderness, which charms the ear, and soothes the spirit of man. There is religion in it."
Estwick Evans, 1818