The United States Congress designated the Arrastra Mountain Wilderness (map
) in 1990 and it now has a total of 129,800 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Arizona
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Arrastra Mountain Wilderness is bordered by
the Tres Alamos Wilderness
to the south.
Wild and remote, difficult to access, this sprawling Wilderness preserves imposing landscapes and vividly colorful geologic features. The Poachie Range runs northwest-southeast through the north-central portion of the area and rises from 1,200 feet in the lowest points of the Wilderness to almost 5,000 feet. Southern slopes descend gradually and are interspersed with isolated volcanic plugs and numerous drainages, several of which have been incised deeply into bright orange mudstone. The western and southern portions of the Wilderness encompass more than 20 miles of the ephemeral Big Sandy and Santa Maria Rivers. On the west side of the Big Sandy stands Artillery Peak, a nearly 3,200-foot volcanic plug dominating the Artillery Mountains. In the eastern portion of the area, you'll find pristine Peoples Canyon where several springs support two miles of interconnected pools shaded by hundreds of sycamores, willows, and cottonwoods. These pearls of water attract birds, which in turn lure bird-watchers.
The Wilderness receives roughly 10 inches of precipitation annually and daytime temperatures during the summer months are over 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October 1 and April 30th. Lacking both trails and road access, Arrastra Mountain is visited by only a few backpackers. All travel here is a challenge of the highest desert Wilderness order.