Arizona National Wildlife Refuges
Although providing a protected habitat for wildlife is the primary function, national wildlife refuges
have similar qualities to wilderness areas, as they occupy scenic, undeveloped land and offer opportunities for off-trail hiking, primitive camping and nature study.
Other Arizona listings: national parks and monuments
, national forests
and state parks
|Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge
The Bill Williams River meets the Colorado River just north of Parker Dam in west Arizona, after flowing for many miles through a deep, sheer-walled canyon surrounded by deserts and mountains. The lower end of the ravine is wide, filled with grasses and marshland, and the whole river corridor is home to a great variety of birds, plants and animals. Access is via a dirt road forking off AZ 95, 22 miles south of Lake Havasu City.
Description | Photographs
|Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
A mixture of grassland, streams, dry canyons and marshland make up the 118,000 acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, a remote and little visited preserve in far south Arizona, west of Nogales.
|Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge
In southwest Arizona bordering Mexico, the Cabeza Prieta NWR contains the most remote and hostile land in the whole state, accessed only by lengthy 4WD tracks and subject to extreme weather conditions, often with temperatures above 100°F for 100 consecutive days during summer. Most of the terrain is wide, flat, sandy valleys interspersed with narrow mountain ranges, all densely covered with saguaro, cholla and other cacti. Free permits are needed for all visits, obtained from the refuge headquarters in Ajo, along AZ 85.
Description | Panorama
|Cibola National Wildlife Refuge
Cibola is a small wildlife refuge bordering the Colorado River north of Yuma - flat, partly irrigated land surrounded by arid mountains, reached by an unpaved road heading south from Ehrenberg on interstate 40.
|Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
Like Cibola a few miles north, the 25,768 acre Imperial National Wildlife Refuge protects riparian environments alongside the lower Colorado River, extending for 30 miles on both sides of the water, north of Imperial Dam. The refuge is an important resting and breeding area for migratory birds.
|Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
Kofa NWR occupies a scenic section of the Sonoran Desert northeast of Yuma, 40 by 25 miles in extent, without any paved roads or visitor facilities. The refuge has one main attraction in Palm Canyon, location of the only remaining natural grove of California palm trees in the state. Activities in the Kofa area include viewing desert plants and wildlife, rock climbing, exploring old mines, and wilderness camping.
Description | Palm Canyon | Photographs
|Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuge
The recently-established (1988) Leslie Canyon NWR contains a short section of cottonwood-lined Leslie Creek, habitat for two endangered species of fish. Entrance to the refuge is 11 miles north of Douglas along US 191.
|San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge
San Bernardino is a small refuge in the far southeast corner of Arizona bordering Mexico, enclosing part of the Yaqui River and the grassy hills at either side. Access is via a gravel track east of Douglas.