U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Gila Box RNCA
The Riverview Campground is located 20 miles northeast of Safford, within the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area (RNCA).
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 small 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 campground.
Camping, picnicking, birding and wildlife viewing, access for fishing and floating, driving on primitive roads, and equestrian use on backcountry roads and trails. The Cottonwood Trail links the campground with the General Kearny Monument, Bonita Creek Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area, and Serna Cabin Picnic Area. Those wishing to float three miles of the Gila Box can exit the river at the Dry Canyon Take Out; ensure that you have proper safety gear and never float alone.
The nearby Flying W Group Day Use Area is a great site for large family gatherings and social functions. It features a large ramada covering several large picnic tables. A sand volleyball court and two horseshoe pits provide added recreational fun for all.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
Fees are $5.00 per day per campsite. The America the Beautiful Senior and Access Passes are honored at this location. All of the fees collected at each site are reinvested for maintenance and repairs of exhibits, signs, and other recreational enhancements.
Campsites and restrooms are fully accessible.
Camping and Lodging
The Owl Creek Campground is located at the east end of the Gila Box. Dispersed camping is allowed on public lands except for day-use areas; campers should choose previously disturbed sites to reduce impacts. Roper Lake State Park, located south of Safford, offers campgrounds and cabin rentals. Safford and Thatcher have a variety of lodging options.
Food and Supplies
Potable water is available at the campground. The nearest stores for purchasing food and supplies are 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 reach cell service. The Mount Graham Regional Medical Center is Safford has emergency and medical/surgical capabilities.
Riverview Campground is a reclamation success story. Much of the site is located on an abandoned “gold mine” that was part of a scheme to defraud investors. After shutting down that operation, the BLM reclaimed the site, partnering with the City of Safford, which provided water to the site. Elevation in the area ranges from 3,100 to 4,400 feet.
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