A six-mile stretch of the Bill Williams River, rarely seen by humans, cuts a deep gorge through the center of Swansea Wilderness which ranges from 670 to 1,900 feet. The river flows into the south end of nearby Lake Havasu on Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, creating a riparian habitat. In the northern portion of the Wilderness you'll find eroded volcanic dikes and plugs with precipitous cliffs, an extension of Black Mesa. The Buckskin Mountains form much of the western portion, and here the topography is subtle, rounded desert with a complex drainage system leading to the river. There are no trails, but you can hike along the water and up some of the side canyons. Rock climbing and horseback riding draw a few human visitors.
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 Swansea 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.