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BLM > Arizona > What We Do > Recreation > Camping > Developed Campgrounds & Picnic Areas > Canyon Overlook Picnic Area
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Canyon Overlook Picnic Area
picnickingwildlife watching
canyon overlook picnic areaDescription
This picnic area, located along the 21-mile-long Black Hills National Back Country Byway, provides a scenic vista of the Gila River canyon and nearby mountain ranges.
The Canyon Overlook Picnic Area is about an hour’s drive northeast of Safford. The picnic area is located near milepost 7 of the Byway and is 10 miles south of the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area, which is crossed by the Byway near milepost 17.
The Black Hills Back Country Byway can be accessed from U.S. Highway 191 between Safford and Clifton. The southern end of the Byway is accessed from the highway at milepost 139 and the northern end at milepost 160. The Canyon Overlook Picnic Area is located 7.2 miles from the southern entrance to the Byway and approximately 14 miles from the northern entrance.
Visitor Activities
Picnicking, wildlife viewing
Special Features
Ramadas, picnic tables, grills, paved sidewalk, scenic views
Permits, Fees, Limitations
This site is for day use only and there are no fees.
A four-wheel-drive or high-clearance vehicle is not needed to access the site; it is located along a county-maintained dirt road. Two of the picnic sites are wheelchair accessible.
Camping and Lodging
Dispersed camping is allowed on public lands; campers should choose previously disturbed sites to reduce impacts. The closest developed campsites (no water on site) are at the seven-unit Owl Creek Campground near milepost 17 on the Byway. Safford, Thatcher, Morenci, and Clifton offer a variety of lodging options including motels and campgrounds, as well as cabins at Roper Lake State Park.
Food and Supplies
Gasoline, food and supplies can be found in the towns listed above.
First Aid
No first aid available on site. Dial 911 for emergencies; cell phone coverage is limited in some areas along the Byway. The nearest medical center is Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center in Safford.
Additional Information
This picnic area is located on a ridgetop which can be chilly on windy days and in winter.
Have enough gas, water, and other provisions for your trip since no services are provided along the Byway. For more information about the surrounding area, pick up a Black Hills Back Country Byway brochure at the BLM Safford Field Office or Graham County Chamber of Commerce.
If you choose to be more adventurous and explore some of the side roads, remember all of these single-lane roads require a four-wheel-drive vehicle. They are not maintained and portions can be steep, rough, and rocky. Washes crossing these routes tend to make it difficult to tell where the road is at all times. Please be sure you are properly prepared. Notify someone of your travel schedule.

The Graham County Chamber of Commerce can provide more information about local recreation opportunities, as well as lodging and restaurant options on their website or by calling 1-888-837-1641. 

For additional information contact:

 Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
Manager:  Tom Schnell
711 14th Ave.
Safford, AZ 85546
(928) 348-4400