Aravaipa Canyon Permits

Before highways and railways, before pioneers, the land we know as the United States was truly a vast wilderness. To protect these last remaining areas, Congress created the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. Aravaipa's outstanding scenery, desert fish and wildlife, rich history, and opportunities for primitive recreation will remain free from the influence of humans and are protected in this condition for future generations. Its 19,410 acres beckon adventurers who yearn for solitude and scenic splendor.

Visiting Aravaipa Canyon

You must have a permit for recreational use of the canyon. You can get permits only through


  • You must have a high-clearance vehicle to get to the east trailhead. You will need to drive directly through the creek to reach the trailhead. There are no bridges. The road is often impassable due to flash flooding. We recommend that you park at the information kiosk and walk 1.5 miles west across The Nature Conservancy's preserve to reach Turkey Creek and the east boundary.
  • Pets are prohibited in the wilderness.
  • Getting to each boundary requires crossing land owned by The Nature Conservancy. Please respect their private property.
  • The maximum length of stay is 3 days (2 nights).
  • Your party size cannot exceed 10 people.
  • Equestrians can have only 5 stock animals per party and stock can't remain overnight in the canyon bottom.
  • Hunters need a permit. The flood plain of Aravaipa Creek and the first 50 vertical feet above the streambed are closed to shooting. This area is open to bow and arrow hunting in season.
  • Using public land for business or financial gain requires a special permit.
  • Wilderness is closed to motor vehicles, mechanical transport, and motorized equipment.
  • Drones may not launch from, be controlled from, nor land within wilderness areas. 

Wildlife Observations


Document your wilderness observations and post pictures at our iNaturalist project for Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Biodiversity

Apply for Permits

Get permits on 

You must have a permit for recreational visits to Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness.

Contact Us

Safford Field Office

Brandenburg Ranger Station