Woolsey Peak Wilderness Area

Location and Description

This 64,000-acre wilderness is in southwest Maricopa County, 11 miles northwest of Gila Bend and 32 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona. It is adjacent to the 13,350-acre Signal Mountain Wilderness.

This wilderness encompasses a major part of the Gila Bend Mountains. The diverse topography and geology include sloping lava flows, basalt mesas, rugged peaks and ridges. The 3,270-foot Woolsey Peak, rising 2,500 feet above the Gila River, is a geographic landmark visible throughout southwestern Arizona. The wilderness contains a surprising variety of vegetation, including saguaro, cholla, paloverde, creosote and bursage. The washes are lined with desert mesquite, ironwood and paloverde.

The diversity, ruggedness, and size of the wilderness offer excellent opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation; backpacking trips, horseback riding, day hiking, wildlife observation, photography and sightseeing are also common. Desert bighorn sheep, and mule deer, bobcats, cougars, hawks and owls and various raptors frequent the region.


This wilderness is accessible via old U.S. Highway 80 and Enterprise Road south of Arlington, via various jeep trails extending south from the Aqua Caliente Road, and via Interstate 8 and the Painted Rocks Dam Road west of Gila Bend. High-clearance vehicles are needed and four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended, except for portions of the Enterprise Road south of Gillespie Dam.

Nonfederal Lands

Some lands around and within 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.

Related Maps

  • 7.5-minute Topographic: Citrus Valley East, Citrus Valley West, Dendora Valley, Quail Springs Wash, Spring Mtn., Woolsey Peak
  • 1:100,000 BLM Surface Management:  Little Horn Mountains, Phoenix South
  • Game and Fish Management Unit 39

For more information contact:

  Lower Sonoran Field Office 
21605 N. 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027-2929
Phone: (623) 580-5500
Fax: (623) 580-5580
Field Manager:  Ed Kender
Hours: 7:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., M-F

"Without any remaining wilderness we are committed wholly . . . to a headlong drive into our technological termite life."
Wallace Stegner, 1969