The United States Congress designated the Salome Wilderness (map
) in 1984 and it now has a total of 18,534 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Arizona
and is managed by the Forest Service.
If you hike rough and lonesome Salome Canyon, the major canyon that runs almost the entire length of this Wilderness, you probably won't encounter another human being. However, you may see remnants of the Salado Indians, who lived here until vanishing about 700 years ago. As you work your way north, the land becomes increasingly rugged with many bedrock outcroppings. It culminates in Hell's Hole, a region of precipitous bluffs. Water is sometimes available from several small springs. Elevations range from 2,600 feet at lower Salome Creek to 6,500 feet on Hopkins Mountain. Semidesert grasslands and chaparral dominate the vegetation. Winters usually freeze, and summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Several trails provide access to the area. From the Reynolds Trailhead, hikers can follow the Hell's Hole Trail, which descends steeply for 5.3 miles and dead-ends in Hell's Hole. Group size is limited to 15 people and 15 head of livestock. Length of stay is limited to 14 days.