Baker Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is a 7.5 square mile Bureau of Land Management property located 30 miles east of Douglas in Cochise County, Arizona. As a wildlife corridor connecting different ecosystems in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico, this WSA is home to diverse wildlife and birds, including unusual species, as well as a threatened and endangered plant species – Arizona rosewood.
Visitors can easily access this BLM land from Arizona Highway 80 via a number of local roads and private properties. Ensure you request permission before driving through private lands.
As soon as you arrive here, you can kickstart your adventure through the different park areas on foot, with your camera handy. After all, you’ll find plenty of things to take pictures of, ranging from the plants and animals that call the WSA home, to the natural landscapes that decorate the park. If you fancy rock climbing and mountaineering adventures, there are several peaks where you can knock yourself out. Additional recreation opportunities such as fishing, boating, picnicking, etc. are available at Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuge and Coronado National Forest.
Here, you can enjoy dry camping within various primitive campsites. You’ll have to visit nearby parks for developed campgrounds.
Baker Canyon Wilderness Study Area lies 30 miles east of Douglas, in Cochise County, Arizona. It lies near the international border between the US and Mexico, where there are lands that are not federally administered. As a result, some of the surrounding lands are under private ownership. Therefore, guests driving to the park should look out for signs of private property and seek permission before driving through such areas.
Arizona Highway 80 offers easy access to the western parts of the park through a number of local routes that branch off the highway. Ensure you are aware of smuggling activities in the region as you drive to the wilderness and keep your valuables and money out of sight. When you arrive at the wilderness boundary and find a parking space, lock your vehicle.
The use of motorized vehicles and other mechanical equipment is prohibited within the boundaries of the wilderness. However, wheelchairs are allowed in the wilderness.
There are no direct public transportation services to Baker Canyon WSA.
Bonita Canyon Campground is a pet-friendly campground at Chiricahua National Monument that features campsites that lie within a pine and oak forest setting, providing the ultimate atmosphere of relaxation. Campers enjoy the use of modern facilities in this campground that is open year-round. Peak season is from January to July, and October to December. All the campsites are available by reservation. Camping options include individual tents, group tents, and RVs/fifth wheels.
There are 26 campsites in this campground, two of which are equipped with electric hookups for RVs and trailers. Maximum RV/motorhome and trailer length in the campground is 29 feet. Guests will find amenities such as accessible flush toilets, fire pits and grills, potable water, picnic tables, and tent pads. Facilities such as a self-pay station and amphitheater are also on hand.
Campsite stay is limited to fourteen consecutive days and quiet hours are from 8 pm to 8 am.
Bring your best hiking boots along with you when you visit Baker Canyon WSA so that you can enjoy your adventure through the park areas on foot. You will be treated to scenic views and amazing sights of picturesque landscapes, resplendent flora and diverse fauna roaming the park’s areas. Ensure you carry enough water too so you can stay hydrated.
More hiking opportunities are available at Chiricahua National Monument, north of this WSA, where you get the chance to choose between easy hikes, moderate hikes, and strenuous trails.
Baker Canyon WSA is home to a wide variety of wildlife and birds, some of which are considered unusual. Some of the unusual bird species within the BLM park include trogons, hummingbirds, and turkey, among others. As you stroll through the park, you’ll come across several species of bats, bobcat, coatimundi, mountain lions, and Coues' white-tailed deer.
Flora enthusiasts will find interesting plant species such as Mexican pinyon, Chihuahua pine, and Arizona rosewood along the wilderness’ corridors.
Rock climbing and mountaineering enthusiasts can bring their interests to life on any of the mountains and ridges in the vicinity of Baker Canyon WSA. By far the most popular choice is Chiricahua Peak, an easy-to-climb mountain that has a few starting points for climbers, day hikers and overnighters. The adventure up the peak is breathtaking and very good views are available from the top of the Peak.
Other climbing spots such as Flys Peak and Silver Peak are also available for visitors to test their skill and endurance.
There are no designated equestrian trails within Baker Canyon WSA, and so horseback riding is not so popular in the park. Rather, guests that fancy the activity prefer to visit Chiricahua National Monument where horseback riding trails and stock use are provided.
The stocks are permitted on the developed trail systems within the National Monument and are open to all equestrians. Riders are allowed to carry their firearms while on horseback, but may not discharge them within the park.
Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuge is a popular destination for guests at the WSA to watch even more wildlife and enjoy the use of nature trails. Ensure you carry your camera along so you can take pictures of the wildlife that resides within the refuge.
The Leslie Canyon Trail leads hikers through almost all the habitats that are found in the refuge. Exploring the two-mile-long trail will take you through desert grasslands, riparian scrub, and desert scrub areas. At the northern end of the trail, there is also an abandoned mine site.
A visit to Coronado National Forest is well worth it for the abundance of recreation activities offered within the property. Popular among these activities are hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, picnicking, and scenic driving. Anglers and boaters have their share of fun in this National Forest too, and so do mountain bikers.
For guests that are lovers of scenery, various sightseeing spots are present here, and so are historic areas. Some of the spotlights in the forest include Rose Canyon Campground, Madera Canyon Picnic Area, Heliograph Trail, Rose Canyon Lake, Sabino Canyon Recreation Area.