Big Horn Mountains Wilderness
This 21,000-acre wilderness lies 60 miles west of Phoenix in western Maricopa County. The precipitous 1,800-foot-high Big Horn Peak and neighboring desert plain escarpments give the wilderness exceptional scenic value, especially noticeable along Interstate Highway 10 south of the area. The Hummingbird Springs Wilderness, northeast of this area, is separated from the Big Horn Wilderness by a jeep trail.
Nine miles of the jumbled Big Horn Mountains ridgeline cross the wilderness. The central mountainous core is surrounded by smaller hills, fissures, chimneys, narrow canyons, and desert plains. This wilderness offers many recreation opportunities such as hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, photography and nature study. Rugged ridges challenge expert climbers, while side canyons and plains offer easier hiking.
This wilderness fosters habitat for many desert species, such as the desert bighorn sheep, Gila monster, kit fox and desert tortoise. Golden eagles, prairie falcons, barn owls and great horned owls nest in the cliffs.
Know Before You Go
- Please follow the regulations in place for this area, and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting to ensure protection of its unique natural and experiential qualities.
- Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles (including OHVs), motorboats, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters Contact the agency for more information about regulations.
- 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.
This wilderness area is a two hour drive from Phoenix. Access the wilderness by exiting Interstate 10 at the Tonopah or Salome Road exits. Unmaintained dirt roads extend to the wilderness area's eastern, northern and western boundaries. Because road conditions vary and some routes are primitive, high-clearance and four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended.