U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Kearny Encampment Site
More than 150 years ago, early explorers passed through this same area, recording their accounts of its wildlife, geology, and culture. The Kearny Camp Monument commemorates the site where General Stephen Watts Kearny and his Army battalion camped on October 27, 1846, en route to California during the Mexican-American War.
The site is located near the Riverview Campground and Flying W Group Day Use Area in the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area (RNCA) about an hour from Safford.
From Safford, travel approximately five miles east on U.S. Highway 70 to the town of Solomon and turn left onto Sanchez Road. Travel north for eight miles, crossing the bridge at the Gila River, to a Gila Box RNCA sign. Turn left onto that dirt road. Travel another 3.8 miles and take the right fork in the road. Travel 0.6 mile to another fork and turn right. Follow the signs at the next fork, turning right into the Riverview Campground. The monument is located on a knoll overlooking the Gila River near the campground. It is best accessed by hiking the Cottonwood Trail from the Flying W Group Day Use Area, located beyond the campground.
Hiking, birding, photography, historical exploration
The monument overlooks a scenic view of the Gila River and the monument provides historical information on General Kearny.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
The site is day use only and no fees are charged.
Trail leading up to the monument is not wheelchair accessible.
Camping and Lodging
Developed campsites are available nearby at Riverview Campground. Dispersed camping is allowed on public lands but not at the monument or along the Cottonwood Trail. Campers should choose previously disturbed sites to reduce impacts. Safford and Thatcher offer a variety of lodging options including motels and campgrounds, as well as cabins at Roper Lake State Park.
Food and Supplies
Gasoline, food and supplies can also be found in Safford and Thatcher.
There is no first aid available on site. Dial 911 for emergencies; cell phone coverage is limited in some areas, so you may have to seek higher ground to get a wireless signal. The nearest medical facility is the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in Safford.
The Cottonwood Trail provides a loop connecting the Kearny Camp Monument, Riverview Campground, Bonita Creek Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area, Flying W Group Day Use Area, and Serna Cabin Picnic Area, site of a historic pioneer cabin.
The Graham County Chamber of Commerce can provide more information about local recreation opportunities, as well as lodging and restaurant options on their website or by calling 1-888-837-1641.