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Kofa Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Kofa Wilderness (map) in 1990 and it now has a total of 516,200 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Arizona and is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Kofa Wilderness is bordered by the New Water Mountains Wilderness to the north and the New Water Mountains Wilderness to the north.


In the early part of the 1900s the King of Arizona (KOFA) Mine scoured this land for precious mineral deposits. Today, in a twist of fate, the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and subsequently Kofa Wilderness protect the region's precious plant and animal life, including: one of the Arizona's largest desert bighorn sheep populations, a species nearly extirpated prior to the Refuge's establishment; less than 100 California fan palms, remnants of wetter days; and the rare Kofa Mountain barberry, found only in southwest Arizona. Kofa Wilderness makes up approximately 82% of the Refuge, making this Wilderness Arizona's second largest. In the north lie the Kofa Mountains, to the south the Castle Dome Mountains. Both are magnificently jagged peaks looming thousands of feet above the pristine desert floor of King Valley, which separates them.

Planning to Visit the Kofa Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

All pets must be confined unless they are sporting dogs assisting with a hunt of quail and/or cottontail rabbits. Amplified music is not permitted. Wood may be collected outside of wilderness areas for campfires provided it is down, dead, and detached. No wood may be collected to take off the refuge for home use. Collecting of rocks and minerals, prospecting, and treasure hunting is prohibited, except that surface collecting of rocks is permitted inside a 1.5 square mile area known as Crystal Hill. Possession of rocks there is limited to 10 specimens or 10 pounds (whichever comes first) within any 12-month period. Hunting is permitted within State and Federal guidelines. Please contact the Refuge Manager for more details. All vehicles, including trailers, dirt bikes, quads and UTVs must remain on designated roads. No off-roading is permitted. Vehicles may be parked no further than 100 feet from the designated roads, although tents, table, etc. may be placed further from the designated roads. Camping is limited to 14 nights within any 12 consecutive month period. All vehicles must be registered and insured, and all drivers must be licensed. ATVs and quads must be registered as "street legal."