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Upper Burro Creek Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning


The United States Congress designated the Upper Burro Creek Wilderness (map) in 1990 and it now has a total of 27,440 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Arizona and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


Upper Burro Creek is one of the few perennial streams to flow undammed into the lower desert of Arizona. Thirteen miles of the creek pass through this Wilderness, which is divided into eastern and western sections by a dirt road. Here Burro Creek runs deep through incised bedrock, falling about 1,500 feet in one half-mile stretch. Elevations for the entire Wilderness range from approximately 2,350 feet to 5,000 feet. Small waterfalls connect clear pools in which you can take the plunge for a magnificently refreshing desert swim. In some places the creek has backed up into long marshy pools ringed with young trees and thirsty vegetation. Away from the creek the Wilderness preserves rough side canyons and basalt mesas with vertical rock faces, raggedy spires, and desert grassland on their sloping upland surfaces. Negro Ed, a huge butte, dominates part of the area.

Topography has created numerous microhabitats where an abundance of Arizona plant communities intermingle. Bird-watchers are attracted to at least 150 species of avian life, including a great variety of raptors. Among the mammals who inhabit the area are beavers, raccoons, desert cottontails, ring-tailed cats, badgers, skunks (spotted, striped, and hognose), gray foxes, javelinas, bobcats, mountain lions, mule deer, and pronghorn antelope. There are no designated trails, but the stream and side canyons are easy to navigate; along the upper section of the creek the going may be more rigorous. Despite the refreshing presence of water, summers are far too hot for a visit, often exceeding 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October 1 and April 30th.

Planning to Visit the Upper Burro Creek 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 Upper Burro Creek 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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