The Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area (RNCA) about an hour from Safford. The picnic area is located along the main access road into the west entrance of the 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 Gila Box RNCA sign. Turn left onto that dirt road and travel 3.1 miles to the Spring Canyon Picnic Area.
Picnicking, wildlife viewing, and fishing.
The site has two picnic tables and two grills.
Permits, Fees, Limitations
The site is day use only; permits or fees are not required.
The road leading to the picnic area is a county-maintained dirt road; a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle is not needed. The site does not have paved surfaces; however, it is level and somewhat accessible.
Camping and Lodging
Spring Canyon picnic area is open for day use only. Developed campsites are available nearby at the BLM’s Riverview Campground
. Dispersed camping is allowed on nearby public lands; campers should choose previously disturbed sites to reduce impacts. Roper Lake State Park
offers campgrounds and cabin rentals. Safford and Thatcher have a variety of lodging options.
Food and Supplies
Gasoline, food and supplies can also be found in Safford and Thatcher.
First aid is not available on site. Dial 911 for emergencies; cell phone coverage is limited in low areas along the river, so you may have to seek higher ground to reach cell service. The nearest medical facility is the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in Safford.
The Graham County Chamber of Commerce
can provide more information about local recreation opportunities, as well as lodging and restaurant options, via their website or by calling 1-888-837-1641.
Further information may be obtained by contacting:
Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
Manager: Tom Schnell
711 14th Ave.
Safford, AZ 85546