Location and Description
The 129,800-acre Arrastra Mountain Wilderness is located in Mohave, Yavapai, and La Paz counties, 100 miles northwest of Phoenix and 70 miles southeast of Kingman, Arizona. This sprawling wildland encompasses imposing landscapes and unique natural features. The Poachie Range, which trends northwest-southeast through the north-central portion of the wilderness, rises to almost 5,000 feet. The gradual southern slopes of the range are interrupted by several isolated volcanic plugs and numerous drainages, several of which have been deeply incised into a bright orange mudstone.
The western and southern portions of the wilderness encompass more than 20 miles of the ephemeral Big Sandy and Santa Maria rivers. West of the Big Sandy River, the Artillery Mountains are dominated by the striking red Artillery Peak, a 1,200-foot tall volcanic plug. The east side of the wilderness contains the uniquely pristine Peoples Canyon (see note below regarding non-federal lands). Several springs here maintain a two-mile-long chain of deep, interconnecting pools densely shaded by hundreds of sycamores, willows, and cottonwoods.
A high-clearance four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for all access routes.
- 17-Mile Road Access - Turn west off of Highway 93 at milepost 143, located about 60 miles north of Wickenburg. Follow 17-Mile Road west for 6 miles until the wilderness boundary is reached. A jeep road running south from this point provides access to the Government Wash area. 17-Mile Road also follows the north wilderness boundary for the next 5 miles. (See Map)
- Palmerita Ranch Access - From Wickenburg, follow Highway 60 west to Wenden. Turn north onto a paved road toward Alamo Lake State Park. Turn right (east) onto a bladed dirt road at milepost 28. Drive 3 miles to the intersection with Alamo Lake Road at the Wayside RV Park. Turn right (south) on Alamo Lake Road and drive 0.5 miles. Turn left (east) onto Palmerita Road and drive 7 miles to the Palmerita Ranch, where you can park. This provides access to the Santa Maria River and the south side of the wilderness. (See Map) (pdf)
- Peoples Canyon Access - Turn west off of Highway 93 at milepost 155, located about 44 miles north of Wickenburg and 200 yards north of the intersection with Highway 97. Follow this jeep trail for 3 miles to the wilderness boundary and a metal gate. The route behind the gate leads to Peoples Canyon. Private land is located at South Peoples Spring at the end of this route. Written permission is required to cross this land. Contact the Kingman BLM Office for the landowner's mailing address. Good 4-wheel driving skills are a must to negotiate this access route. (See Map) (pdf)
The summer climate in this wilderness unit is harsh. Daytime temperatures during the summer months are over 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October 1 and April 30th.
The terrain in Arrastra Mountain Wilderness is extremely rugged. A few old vehicle ways provide hiking routes in some places, but the most commonly used routes are the sand washes which dissect the area. Burro trails can sometimes be located and followed on uplands. No formal hiking trails exist in this wilderness unit.
Water is relatively scarce in this wilderness. Springs shown on topographic maps can generally be relied upon for drinking water, but a call to the BLM office to confirm this would be prudent. Purification of all water is a necessity.
Some lands in and around the wilderness are not federally administered. Please respect the property rights of the owners and do not cross or use these lands without their permission.
- 7.5-minute Topographic: Arrastra Mountain, Arrastra Mountain NE, Arrastra Mountain SE, Malpais Mesa SW, Palmerita Ranch, Artillery Peak, Thorn Peak, Signal Mountain, Signal
- 1:100,000 BLM Surface Management: Alamo Lake
- Game and Fish Management Units 16A and 44A
For more information contact:
Kingman Field Office
2755 Mission Boulevard
Kingman, AZ 86401-5308
Phone: (928) 718-3700
Fax: (928) 718-3761
Acting Field Manager: Ruth Zimmerman
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
"A wilderness . . . is . . . an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."
The Wilderness Act of 1964