Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area
Permit System

aravaipa canyonThe area's uniqueness is most evident in the diversity of wildlife habitat. The Aravaipa region consists of five major terrestrial communities: Sonoran Desertscrub, Desert Grassland/Semi-desert Scrubland, Interior Chaparral, Evergreen Woodland, and Deciduous Riparian Forest.

Hikers follow the Deciduous Riparian Gallery that surrounds the creek. This riparian corridor is actually three very distinct associations: Cottonwood-Willow mix (throughout the canyon bottom, with the tallest trees in the canyon); the Mesquite Bosque (found across from Horse Camp Canyon and elsewhere); and the Alder/Walnut/Hackberry association (Oak Grove Canyon above Turkey Creek). The ecosystem includes more than 1,000 acres of riparian habitat in 12 drainages.

Saguaro-studded cliffs tower high above the creek. When rainfall conditions are right (good autumn precipitation), an abundance of colorful wildflowers will carpet the hillsides in Spring. Fall colors, mostly golden foliage of cottonwoods & willows, are a special treat.

Poison ivy is also found in riparian areas, so be careful if you are allergic to this plant!

What to Expect



Natural Wonders


  Safford Field Office
711 14th Avenue
Safford, AZ 85546-3337
Phone: (928) 348-4400
Fax: (928) 348-4450
Field Manager:  Scott Cooke
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F