Cedar Bench falls along a broad northwest-southeast trending ridge or "bench," and from this elevated perch visitors can glimpse stunning views of the desert's vivid colors. The Wilderness occupies the dividing line between the Verde River and the Agua Fria River drainages, with the Wild and Scenic Verde River forming a portion of its eastern boundary. The Verde is a dangerous and difficult waterway that supports many species of wildlife that are endangered or of special interest to biologists. Elevations in the area range between 4,500 feet and 6,700 feet with a primary vegetative cover of chaparral and lesser amounts of pinion pine and Utah juniper. In the lower reaches along the river, saguaro cactus can be found hiding on south facing hillsides. There are eight trails totaling 32 miles in the area, some that are maintained and others that are brushy and difficult to follow. The brushy slopes of this wilderness can be extremely hot in the summer, even at higher elevations. If you enjoy solitude and wildlife observation, your efforts will be well rewarded.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Cedar Bench Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.