Sharing a long northeastern border with San Carlos Indian Reservation, Fishhooks Wilderness is a haven of solitude in an isolated and seldom visited region of Arizona. Ruggedly beautiful with grand vistas, the area contains Upper, Middle, and Lower Fishhooks, as well as Sam, Steer Springs, and Dutch Pasture Canyons, all of which offer pleasant hiking among shady riparian vegetation. Set in the Gila Mountains, Gila Peak, on the southern side of the Wilderness, rises to 6,629 feet (the lowest point in the Wilderness being about 4,000 feet) and supports a border piñon pine forest found only in southeastern Arizona. On lower benches and slopes you'll roam through grasslands and chaparral. In these areas, you may find elk, mule deer, white tail deer, black bear, mountain lion, coyote, and javelina. Ten to 15 inches of precipitation falls annually in Fishhooks Wilderness with temperatures ranging from 20 to 110 degrees F. Be forewarned: if you want to wander into the reservation you'll need a special permit.
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 Fishhooks 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.