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Aubrey Peak Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning


The United States Congress designated the Aubrey Peak Wilderness (map) in 1990 and it now has a total of 15,400 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Arizona and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


A large cliff-encircled mesa, Aubrey Peak dominates the middle of the eastern half of this Wilderness, which ranges in elevation from approximately 1,600’ to 3,000’. It is a land of stark geologic formations eroded by wind and water into brightly colored volcanic sculptures, a world of natural windows, tufa caves, spires, slickrock terraces, and tinajas (deep, water-filled pockets). You'll find numerous other mesas, buttes, volcanic plugs, and serpentine canyons. The Wilderness is set in a transition zone between the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Stands of imposing saguaro, paloverde, ironwood, and smoke trees, typical of the Sonoran Desert, merge with Joshua trees and other species found in the Mojave to create a patchwork quilt of vegetation. Available water makes this area a desert bird-watcher's paradise. Keep your eyes peeled for verdins, crissal thrashers, black-throated sparrows, Abert's towhees, and black-tailed gnatcatchers, to name but a few. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a herd of desert bighorn sheep. Discovered here recently, this species is unusual for this region.

Little rain falls in this area so be prepared with plenty of drinking water. Higher elevations receive more precipitation, some in the form of snow during the winter months; however, summer climate in this area is harsh, with temperatures in the daytime often exceeding 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October and April. There are no established trails, but the hiking is easy. Just follow the washes and orient yourself using the distinctive rock formations. There are a few unmaintained two-track primitive routes leading to long-abandoned mines that may also be used for hiking.

Planning to Visit the Aubrey Peak 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 Aubrey Peak 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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