U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Old Lady Gay Cabin
Gila Box RNCA
Possibly built by Chinese farmers in the 1890s, this cabin was named after Old Lady Gay, who came to the area before 1912. It is one of two dozen known historic farm sites along Bonita Creek within the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area (RNCA).
The Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area (RNCA) is about an hour northeast of Safford. The Old Lady Gay Cabin is located in a remote area, accessible only on foot, along Bonita Creek. Plan an entire day to visit the cabin.
The cabin is located in a remote area along Bonita Creek and can be accessed from the Safford-Morenci Trail. Contact the recreation staff at the Safford BLM Office for specific directions to the site.
Hiking, wildlife viewing, historical exploration, photography
There is an interpretive sign at the historic cabin. The cabin is also located in a riparian area with many birds.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
No permit or fees are required.
A high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle is a must for accessing the starting point for the trail that leads to the cabin. The road includes water crossings of Bonita Creek and some short rocky slopes near the Safford-Morenci Trail. The trail leading to this site is not wheelchair accessible. Plan an entire day of driving and hiking to visit this historic farm cabin.
Camping and Lodging
Dispersed camping is allowed on public lands; campers should choose previously disturbed sites to reduce impacts. The closest developed campsites are at Riverview Campground. 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.
The nearest medical facility is the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in Safford. 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 have cellular service.
The BLM stabilized and reroofed this historic structure in 2006. Interpretive signs at the site tell more about the area’s history.
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.
Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area