Featuring several miles of the crystal-clear Hassayampa River and its surrounding riparian habitat, Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness is an 18.5 sq. mile park with primitive campsites and wonderful spots for relaxation and solitude. This Bureau of Land Management park located eight miles northeast of Wickenburg, in Arizona, can be easily accessed via Highways 60, 70, and 93 as well as other paved and unpaved roads. No direct transportation services are available to the park.
There are lots of places within this BLM property in Arizona for visitors to go and have fun. Not only are the park’s areas decorated with resplendent flora, but beautiful fauna species are present for wildlife and bird enthusiasts to see and take pictures of. Hiking opportunities also abound within the park as many trails are available to take visitors who wish to stroll around to hidden areas of the park. Sightseeing is also a desirable activity in this wilderness because of its landscapes and natural features. If you take the adventure outside the wilderness, you’ll be able to enjoy additional recreation at Harquahala Mountains Wilderness and Prescott National Forest.
Although there are no vehicle camping sites in the park, due in part to the prohibition of vehicles in wilderness areas, dry camping is prevalent. So, gear up for a primitive adventure!
Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness is located about eight miles northeast of Wickenburg, Arizona, off Highway 93. If you’re coming from Phoenix, the park is 48 miles northwest and you’ll be able to get here by traveling west to Wickenburg along Highway 60 or 74. Several paved and unpaved local roads lead to the park from Wickenburg, such as Constellation Road.
Some of the land around this BLM wilderness property is not administered by the BLM, so your trip to the park will take you across private land. As a result, you’ll need to request permission within these areas when driving to the wilderness area. It’s recommended that you come to the wilderness in high-clearance or four-wheel drive vehicles.
Motorized equipment or mechanical transport is not allowed in the wilderness, except wheelchairs. If water is running in the area during flash floods in the summer months, don’t drive through the low areas. Once the sun goes down, try not to travel on the 13-mile backcountry road because it is hard to see the cliffs, rocks on the road, wash-outs and other hazards in the dark.
RV rental services are available nearby at Lake Pleasant.
RV and tent camping opportunities are available within campgrounds located west of New River, off Highway 70, close to Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness. The camping areas offer semi-developed to developed sites with picnic tables, ramadas, and RV parking areas. All the campsites also have restrooms and shower facilities. If you wish to enjoy primitive and shoreline camping experiences, there is room available.
A total of 148 sites are available within two campgrounds, one of which accommodates large groups. Ten sites are designated tent campsites, while 41 campsites are semi-developed. The rest are developed sites.
The campsites are pet-friendly and available by reservations.
At Prescott National Forest, there’s a developed campground available for tents and RVs. The campground is open between May and October and sits on the banks of Wolf Creek. Twenty campsites are available in the campground with fire rings and grills, as well as picnic tables, vault toilets, and garbage service.
RVs and trailers that are longer than 40 feet cannot be accommodated within the campground, and neither are hookups available.
Reservations are not accepted as all the campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Lake Pleasant is a popular destination for water enthusiasts at Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness. This lake offers various recreational opportunities such as wakeboarding, kayaking, boating, water skiing, scuba diving and many more.
There are two boat launching ramps available by the lake, equipped with restrooms and parking lots for vehicles. You should bring your boats. Pleasure fishing, night fishing, and professional fishing opportunities are also available on the lake. Spring is the best time to visit the lake to fish.
Bird watching enthusiasts enjoy the chance to pursue their recreational interests at and around Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness. The trails in the park offer the chance to take colorful varieties of birds within different resting spots and habitats.
Birds you’ll see in the wilderness area include vireos, summer tanagers, song sparrows, yellow-breasted chat, and yellow warblers. Ladder-backed woodpeckers, Lucy’s warbler, and gnat-catchers are also common in the park. It helps if you have a bird book and a set of binoculars.
There’s something that makes Hassayampa River Preserve special. It is one of the few spots where visitors and campers at Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness can actually get to see the river’s waters.
Because Hassayampa River flows only underground, the chance to see this crystal-clear water flow above ground all year at Hassayampa River Preserve is a unique opportunity. The preserve, which is considered as an oasis in the desert, is home to various wildlife and bird species.
Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness is an attractive destination for nature lovers and enthusiasts, thanks to the diverse flora and fauna species in the wilderness. Various areas in the BLM park such as the side canyons and upland areas are covered in paloverde, chaparral, and saguaro.
As you move through the wilderness, you’ll find wildlife species such as mountain lions, javelina, bobcats, rattlesnakes, and many other non-venomous snakes. So be on the lookout and have your camera handy.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities at Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness, as the park features numerous trail systems that take hikers across different parts of the park. These trails are non-motorized and non-mechanized trails, so you’ll need your best hiking boots, GPS unit, and enough water.
Opportunities to take photographs are available along the trails. Hiking trails include Hassayampa Trail, Black Rock Mine Trail, Jesus Canyon Trail, Dropoff Trail, and Treasure Canyon Trail.
As the highest point at Hassayampa River Canyon Wilderness, Sam Powell Peak, which is 4,015 feet high is a fascinating place to visit. Unspoiled views of the surrounding BLM park areas are offered at the peak.
If you move north of the peak, you’ll find a unique monolith referred to as “The Needle”. Around this region, you will see flora characteristic of the Sonoran Desert such as thick chaparral, saguaro, and paloverde. Other nice spots are available by the river which flows freely all year.