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Juniper Mesa Wilderness

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Photograph taken in  the Juniper Mesa Wilderness
Josh Keith


The United States Congress designated the Juniper Mesa Wilderness (map) in 1984 and it now has a total of 7,566 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Arizona and is managed by the Forest Service.


Juniper Mesa is located in the southern Juniper Mountains on the northwest half of the Prescott National Forest. It is about 1 hour north of the city of Prescott. The views from the mesa top to the south are hard to beat. One can see all of Apache Creek Wilderness, and portions of Granite Mountain, Woodchute, and Sycamore Canyon Wilderness areas. This wilderness is characterized by its abrupt south facing limestone cliff bands making up Juniper Mesa on the southern end of the Juniper Mountains. This flat-topped mesa stands out in the surrounding landscape of granite. The cliff forming members of this face are the Tapeats sandstone and the Martin and Redwall limestones. This geologic feature is a remnant of the past extent of the Colorado Plateau. The mesa is broken by steep canyons that open onto rolling hills with elevations ranging from 7,050 feet down to 5,650 feet. Southern slopes are vegetated primarily with pinion pines and Utah junipers, northern slopes with ponderosa pines and alligator junipers. Although there are no perennial streams and springs are unreliable, (especially during long periods of dry weather) wildlife is relatively abundant, including black bears, elk, mule deer, bobcats, and Abert's squirrels. There are numerous trailheads with 15 miles of trails into the area, but human use is light. Equestrians and hunters are the most frequent visitors.

Planning to Visit the Juniper Mesa Wilderness?

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 Juniper Mesa Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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