Top Desert Parks: Agua Fria National Monument, Arizona

Highlights of the West > Desert Parks

Agua Fria National Monument
Water-polished rocks along the Agua Fria RiverNext

Featured parks are either within the Mojave Desert, mostly in California and Nevada, the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and California, or the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico and Texas. The US has also has a fourth desert, Great Basin, where the landscapes are more traditional in appearance. More about US deserts.

Agua Fria National Monument lies at the north edge of the Sonoran Desert; saguaro-covered slopes in the lower elevations to the south give way to grasslands with yucca and beargrass in the higher regions further north. The preserve is centered on the Agua Fria River, part of which flows through a deep, rocky canyon. The national monument also contains ancient sites, old mines and varied animal life, and is crossed by a few unpaved tracks, though most of the land is trailless. The monument is administered by the BLM so facilities are very limited, and visitation low; this is a good location for free, primitive camping and off-trail exploration.

Agua Fria - details, map


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