The precipitous, rocky, and brushy Galiuro Mountains rise abruptly in block-like uplifts from the almost flat desert plains. Nineteen miles in length and six miles in width (on average), they are almost all designated Wilderness. Erosion has done its work here, creating many rugged cliffs with brightly colored rocks and exposed soils. Bisected by two main canyons, Redfield and Rattlesnake, the mountains support vegetation varying from semidesert grasslands through pinion, juniper, oak, and brush to mixed conifers and even aspens in the higher elevations. From about 4,000 feet, the ground rises to 7,671 feet on Bassett Peak. You'll find no perennial streams, but riparian areas appear throughout the Wilderness. Several springs supply water almost year-round: Power's Garden, Mud Spring, Corral Spring, Juniper Spring, South Field Spring, Kielberg Dam, Walnut Spring, Cedar Spring, and Holdout Spring. The plentiful wildlife includes black bears, mountain lions, javelinas, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn, as well as many smaller mammals and birds. Near the summit of Bassett Peak you may come across the wreckage of a World War II B-24 bomber. The plane crashed there on a training run in January of 1943, killing all 11 men on board. A plaque mounted on one of the wings commemorates their final resting place. While there are a number of hiking trails, they are poorly marked and infrequently maintained. Maps and a compass are recommended. Off the trails, the topography makes walking extremely difficult. Human use of this area is light. Contact the local Forest Service office for current information on water sources.
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 Galiuro 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.