Location and Description
The 27,440-acre Upper Burro Creek Wilderness is located in Yavapai and Mohave counties, 60 miles west of Prescott, Arizona and 60 miles southeast of Kingman, Arizona. The small mining town of Bagdad is located 10 miles southeast of the wilderness.
This wilderness lies along the upper reaches of Burro Creek, a perennial stream and one of the few streams in Arizona to flow relatively undisturbed into the lower desert. Nine miles of Burro Creek lie within the wilderness. In this area, Burro Creek passes through incised bedrock where it runs deep, creating clear blue pools connected by small waterfalls. In other areas, the creek has backed up into long, marshy pools ringed with young trees and other water-loving vegetation.
Away from the stream corridor, the wilderness preserves an expanse of basalt mesas and the desert grassland found on their rolling upland surfaces. Negro Ed, a huge and colorful butte rising far above its surroundings, is also part of the wilderness.
Upper Burro Creek Wilderness offers outstanding recreation opportunities for hiking, backpacking, camping, sightseeing, hunting, rock collecting, and horseback riding. Swimming, birdwatching, and photography are special attractions all along the stream corridor.
4-wheel drive vehicle transportation is recommended for all access routes described. (See Map) (pdf)
- Upper Burro Creek Access: Proceed to the town of Bagdad, AZ, and turn right on Lindahl Road. Follow the road to the junction with the Phelps Dodge Mine Access Road (about 3 miles) and turn right. Drive about 12.5 miles, following the signs to Camp Wood. Upon approaching a remote ranch headquarters, proceed west through the yard (Be respectful: drive slowly, leave gates as you find them, and don’t drive through when ground is muddy...the ranch owner currently allows people to cross private property without stopping for permission) and follow jeep trails for 14.5 miles west across Behm and Bozarth Mesas to the rim of Burro Creek Canyon. Go through the gates and drop steeply down into Burro Creek. At the creek, you have reached the eastern wilderness boundary. After fording the creek, you will see a line camp, consisting of corrals and a wooden building, all of which are shaded by large sycamore trees. This is public land, and is a good spot to park and/or car camp. This route should not be attempted within several days of rainstorms, or if the possibility of rain is in the forecast.
- Six-Mile Crossing Access: Proceed to milepost 132 on Highway 93, located about 7.5 miles south of Wikieup, Arizona. Take the good unpaved road bearing east at this point. Follow this road for about 15 miles, until you reach Six-Mile Crossing, which is a fording of Burro Creek. Cross the creek, and just beyond, pass through a steel gate. Turn left after the gate, and follow the fence north for about 4.5 miles, paralleling Burro Creek. At this point you are near the southern boundary of the wilderness. This route should not be attempted within several days of major rainstorms, or if the possibility of rain is in the forecast.
- Sycamore Camp Access: Proceed to milepost 132 on Highway 93, located about 7.5 miles south of Wikieup, Arizona. Take the good unpaved road bearing east at this point. Follow this road for 7.8 miles, to a road intersection located on top of a ridge. A sign at this point directs you to the left to go to Sycamore Camp. Follow this road north for 4.9 miles. At this point you will see a jeep trail on your right dropping into Cornwall Canyon, which is the southwest boundary of the wilderness. Hikes can be made from this point. Other access can be had by driving another 3.4 miles up the Sycamore Camp road. At this point a jeep trail along a fenceline will be on your right. Follow the jeep trail about 4.5 miles, turning right at the intersection encountered at 1.0 miles, to Black Willow Spring. You are now at the west boundary of wilderness. Park your vehicle at least one-quarter mile away from the spring. A third access possibility in this area is to follow the Sycamore Camp road to its end at Sycamore Camp. After stopping in at the headquarters, you can proceed up this road onto Goodwin Mesa, eventually reaching Swale Tank. From Swale Tank, follow the instructions below (Goodwin Mesa Access) to reach the wilderness boundary.
- Goodwin Mesa Access: Proceed to milepost 107.4 on Highway 93, located about 16 miles south of Interstate 40. Take the good unpaved road bearing east at this point. Set your trip odometer at zero before starting down the road and follow these instructions:
- Mile 1.6 - turn right at intersection; mile 2.0 - turn right at intersection; mile 3.6 - turn left at intersection; mile 4.0 - cross the Big Sandy River; mile 4.4 - straight ahead at intersection; mile 16.6 - turn right at intersection; mile 18.0 - turn right at intersection; mile 24.0 - SV Ranch headquarters
- Upon encountering the ranch headquarters, stop and introduce yourself. You are crossing private land here, and courtesy dictates that you obtain permission. Reset your odometer at zero again and follow these instructions:
- Proceed south and east onto Goodwin Mesa; mile 3.4 - turn left at intersection; mile 3.5 - cross the Swale Tank dam, a large stockwater pond; mile 4.4 - go straight at intersection just past gate; mile 7.1 - turn left at intersection; mile 7.3 - Wilderness boundary
- From this point, jeep trails run north and south, basically defining the west boundary of the wilderness unit. This route should not be attempted within several days of major rainstorms, or if the possibility of rain is in the forecast.
With the exception of the Burro Creek Canyon, water is scarce within this wilderness unit, and where found, must always be purified.
No formal hiking trails exist within this area. Considerable "bush-whacking" may be necessary to negotiate the Burro Creek corridor or areas of chaparral brush.
The summer climate in this area is harsh, with temperatures in the daytime often exceeding 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October 1 and April 30th.
Several access roads to this wilderness have a high clay component to them. Following precipitation events, these roads can be impassable for a period of time.
Some lands 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: Negro Ed, Greyback Mountains, Pilot Knob, Elephant Mountain
Game and Fish Management Unit 18B
For more information contact:
Bureau of Land Management
Kingman Field Office
2755 Mission Boulevard
Kingman, AZ 86401-3629
U.S. Bureau of Land Management,
Office of Public Affairs