U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Flying W Group Day Use Area
The Flying W site is perfect for family reunions and group activities. The large shaded structure has numerous picnic tables with grills nearby. It is located along the Gila River within the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area (RNCA).
The Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area (RNCA) is about an hour northeast of 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 picnic area, with its large W-shaped canopy, is just beyond the campground.
Picnicking, horseshoes, volleyball, hiking, wildlife viewing, water play, and fishing
Group picnic area that can seat 50 people, restrooms, large grills, and drinking water.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
Use of the picnic area is free on a first-come, first-served basis. It is also possible to reserve the site for a fee, based on group size, by calling the Safford Field Office. The site is for day use only. America the Beautiful Passes are not honored at this site.
A valid Arizona license is required for taking wildlife (including fish) in Arizona. Details are available at the Arizona Game and Fish License Page.
The facilities at the site are wheelchair accessible.
Camping and Lodging
Developed camping is located at the nearby Riverview Campground. Primitive dispersed camping is allowed on public lands but not within the Group Day Use Area. 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.
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 cell service. The nearest medical center is Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in Safford.
The Cottonwood Trail begins at the Flying W and provides a loop connecting Riverview Campground, Kearny Camp Monument, Bonita Creek Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area, and Serna Cabin Picnic Area.
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.
Further information may be obtained by contacting:
Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area