In the Safford area, four cultural traditions overlap: the Hohokam, Mogollon, Anasazi and Salado. This provides a unique situation in the Southwest. Archaeological and historical resources range from 10,000-year-old Archaic sites to the remains of historic homesteads.
A dedicated core of volunteers, called the Arizona Site Stewards, monitor sites to ensure their protection. They work with BLM archaeologists to record, excavate and stabilize sites.
Historical use of the lands within this region spans many generations and cultures, including Anglo, Hispanic, Native American and Chinese. The Serna Cabin, a homesteader's rock cabin at the mouth of Bonita Creek, has been reconstructed and interpreted. Old Lady Gay Cabin can be reached by hiking. Vestiges of old mines dot the landscape. The historic Old Safford Road Bridge along the Black Hills Back County Byway was restored by Greenlee County with a federal grant. Many historical ruins, including abandoned railroad trestles and gravesites, can be viewed while driving the byway.
The Cultural Heritage Publication El Rio Bonito: An Ethnoecological Study of Bonita Creek Watershed covers some in-depth information about the history of the Gila Box.
Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
Manager: Tom Schnell
711 14th Ave.
Safford, AZ 85546