Upper Burro Creek is one of the few perennial streams to flow undammed into the lower desert of Arizona. Thirteen miles of the creek pass through this Wilderness, which is divided into eastern and western sections by a dirt road. Here Burro Creek runs deep through incised bedrock, falling about 1,500 feet in one half-mile stretch. Elevations for the entire Wilderness range from approximately 2,350 feet to 5,000 feet. Small waterfalls connect clear pools in which you can take the plunge for a magnificently refreshing desert swim. In some places the creek has backed up into long marshy pools ringed with young trees and thirsty vegetation. Away from the creek the Wilderness preserves rough side canyons and basalt mesas with vertical rock faces, raggedy spires, and desert grassland on their sloping upland surfaces. Negro Ed, a huge butte, dominates part of the area.
Topography has created numerous microhabitats where an abundance of Arizona plant communities intermingle. Bird-watchers are attracted to at least 150 species of avian life, including a great variety of raptors. Among the mammals who inhabit the area are beavers, raccoons, desert cottontails, ring-tailed cats, badgers, skunks (spotted, striped, and hognose), gray foxes, javelinas, bobcats, mountain lions, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope. There are no designated trails, but the stream and side canyons are easy to navigate; along the upper section of the creek the going may be more rigorous. Despite the refreshing presence of water, summers are far too hot for a visit, often exceeding 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October 1 and April 30th.
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 Upper Burro Creek Wilderness.
The 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.
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.
Plan ahead, always check weather conditions prior to your trip. Summer time temperatures often exceed 100° F. 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.
Recreational opportunities in the area include backpacking, hiking, and hunting for quail, mule deer, antelope, and javelina. Base camps are not permitted in wilderness. Spike camps, defined as camps used for more than night, are not permitted in Burro Creek Canyon between the brimhall line camp and the south wilderness boundary. The use of hay for feed and/or bedding is prohibited within wilderness. Grain and pelleted feed are acceptable alternatives. Group size limits in Upper Burro Creek wilderness area would be dependent on location of hunting activities, but would follow group and pack animal prescriptions as follows: 6 people and 2 pack animals per party within Burro Creek Canyon between the Brimhall Line Camp and south wilderness boundary, 10 people and 6 pack animals per party outside of Burro Creek Canyon.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
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.
Want to Volunteer for Wilderness?
Citizens who volunteer their time to steward our wilderness areas are an essential part of wilderness management. Contact the following groups to inquire about volunteer opportunities.