Come see and explore all we have to offer
Owl Creek Campground is a RV retreat atop a scenic bluff overlooking the Joe Subia Bridge and the Gila River. Enjoy the comforts of camp after a day of exploring the Gila Box RNCA. This developed, dry (bring your own water) campground includes picnic tables, grills, shade ramadas and restroom facilities. Fee required for use of each one of the seven campsites available.
Heading southeast along the creek by way of hiking, 4WD or other off-road vehicle leads the extreme adventurer to a number of homesteads, gravesites and natural wonders. Wildlife, scenery and the steep hillside grottoes of Eagle Creek Hot Springs filled with 90° mineral water and evidence of the area’s past mining history are provocative. Wonderful primitive camping options have been previously “set-up” alongside the creek under the valley’s umbrella of cottonwood and walnut trees. Camping near Bat Cave will allow one to experience the flight of thousands, viewed generally thirty minutes before sunset. Heading northeast boasts even more fishing and swimming opportunities as you travel toward a wider
embankment of the creek provided by the gauging station. Traveling west, before turning toward the creek once again, allows you to explore the many homesteading ruins of our historical past all throughout Stove Canyon. Words or even pictures alone cannot describe the spectacular scenery along Eagle Creek’s carved path of deep canyon sides during most of its course. The natural beauty of Eagle Creek Valley is certainly a must-travel-to destination, and
one to be explored year after year to discover all its wonders. Eagle Creek Valley can be reached from Lower Eagle Creek Road and Upper Eagle Creek Road. Lower Eagle Creek Road leaves the highway westbound just after passing an assembly area for the large haul truck used at the Morenci Mine to the south and the Pioneer Cemetery to the north of the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway (US 191).
Joe Subia Bridge Gateway to the Gila Box RNCA includes the Gila River Boat Launch -- the starting point for an easy-to-moderate Gila River floating exploration adventure. Designated picnic sites are equipped with all you need to enjoy the banks of the Gila River. Floating the conservation area requires a BLM permit.
Scenic Touring Black Hills Backcountry National Scenic Byway is locally known as the Old Safford Road. This adventurous route boasts spectacular vista views of the Gila and San Francisco River Valleys. Along the Byway are many opportunities for camping, bird watching, fishing, mountain biking, hiking and access points for river floating. In season (after rains), the hills radiate gold with poppies. Accessed from “The Trail” US 191 at MP 160, the Byway is a maintained gravel road, though a high-clearance vehicle is recommended
Mares Bluff Veteran’s Memorial is home of
“America’s Long Walk for Freedom” hiking trail which leads you to the top, overlook scenic South Clifton. This trail honors all US armed forces veterans who served at any time. Many veterans consider it a “place of healing”. The U.S. and Arizona flags fly along with flags from all military branches and a POW/MIA banner. Cables hold more than 1,000 replica dog tags of those honored. The access trail involves a steep 300’ climb. Those with health conditions should not attempt the climb. For more information call (928) 792-3253. Entrance to trailhead is on Ward Canyon Road off of US 191 near MP 162.
Lower Eagle Creek
Clifton’s Nature and Exercise
Trails are a unique intertwined combination of light hiking trails. Sitting accommodations all along this featured trail allow a “notso-ready for a hike -- more a stroll” along the San Francisco River keeps any age birder at ease. This trailhead, located in front of the veterans park, features a kiosk filled with birding information guides for all of Greenlee County. Clifton’s unique setting in a canyon surrounding the year-round river provides prime habitat for a wide variety of birds, such as northern cardinals and red-tailed hawks to cliff wrens and great blue herons. Seeing a diversity of our feathered friends is better than ever with the beautiful and easy-to-access series of nature trails of Greenlee Birding. Check out the kiosk or visit greenleebirding.com website for maps, brochures and a list of what you can expect to see when you head out on the trails. When it comes to birding, Greenlee is the place to be.
Access to trail #84 with its junction to trail #311 can be reached by hiking northeast up Limestone Gulch after crossing the San Francisco River near the north end of Frisco Avenue. Alternate access can be reached in connection with FR 512A junction with FR 512 traveling northeast from the community of Loma Linda.
Pleasant Valley Trail #84
The Pleasant Valley Trail is rated a difficult fourteen
mile trail beginning in the canyon of Limestone Gulch.
During your first mileof exploration, on the right side, an old rock smelter ruin can be seen.
Hickey Springs Trail #311
This 10.9 mile trail is a difficult trail to navigate from the San Francisco River to Hickey Springs and is of moderate difficulty from Hickey Springs to the Forest boundary.
Lower Eagle Creek Road
Eagle Creek is one of Arizona’s largest creeks and is known for its spectacular scenery, historical remnants, huge spreads and uncrowded campgrounds. Lower Eagle Creek, with its sacred beauty, left Geronimo pleading with military authorities to allow his return and live out his remaining days in this area, off the new reservation. Rich in history of both past inhabitants as well as today’s working ranches and mining activities, Eagle Creek Valley is famous for its beauty.
Guthrie Peak is one of many enjoyable hikes or horseback riding trails available to explore amongst the Black Hills recreation area. With an elevation of 6,571 feet, this peak is the area’s highpoint.
Mulligan Peak is a scenic landscape to behold by way of Ward Canyon Road, and another well-known rockhound collection site of Greenlee County. Two chalcedony beds of purple agate are found around the peak, on the northeast and southwest sides. Mulligan Peak’s purple agates can be found by careful digging and are recognized by bands of color ranging from lavender to deep purple and gray. These nodules can also be found with many specks of white
Painted Bluff Trail #13 Head west toward the lower portion of Eagle Creek to view such attractions as ancient petroglyphs located on Painted Bluffs and abandoned mines and springs throughout the journey. Rockhounding opportunities for minerals such as pyrite can also be explored along the Coronado Mountain Ridge. Enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding along this trail. Trailhead located on the west side of the Coronado Trail (US 191), MP 177.
Copyright Greenlee Tourism Council. All rights reserved.
Gila Box Riparian
National Conservation Area
Where the San Francisco River and Eagle Creek join the Gila River, within this 23,000 acre desert oasis, is one of the only two Riparian National Conservation Areas in the nation. Exploration of this area provides views of cliff dwellings, wildlife, historical buildings and Indian writings -- to name a few -- and quite possibly the three river area Geronimo spoke of when referencing his birthplace. Scenic drives can be enjoyed traveling this well-maintained Byway access road, along with many 4WD roads along the way. The perennial creeks, rivers and riparian vegetation of mesquite, cottonwoods, sycamores and willows make this a cool year-round desert oasis. Primitive camping in areas within the Gila Box RNCA is not permitted. Visit www.BLM.gov for up-to-date information. Access the Gila Box RNCA from 3-Way, heading north on US 191, by turning west on the Black Hills Byway.