The United States Congress designated the Santa Teresa Wilderness (map
) in 1984 and it now has a total of 26,909 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Arizona
and is managed by the Forest Service.
The Santa Teresa Wilderness is bordered by
the North Santa Teresa Wilderness
to the north.
Looking for an extraordinary desert mountain Wilderness experience? Then head to the Santa Teresa Mountains, but be forewarned: the going's not easy. Between Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness and the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation adjoining the BLM's North Santa Teresa Wilderness, access here is difficult. The Santa Teresas are a network of rugged mountains with bald summits, deep canyons, and sprawling mesas. Elevation ranges from less than 4,000 feet to 7,481 feet on the summit of Cottonwood Peak. Holdout and Mud Spring Mesas dominate the central Wilderness. Extremely rugged Holdout Canyon typifies the Santa Teresas: abundant caves and alcoves hollow into eroded cliffs with picturesque formations. Thick chaparral vegetation covers the terrain with stands of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir on the north flanks and the crest of Cottonwood Peak. Black bears live here among coatis, javelinas, and mountain lions. Peregrine falcons soar overhead, hunting for prey. Several foot trails give access to the more interesting spots in the Wilderness; some are maintained by cowboys driving their stock, but they are difficult to follow. Human use of the area is very light. Water flows year-round from a few springs.