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Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
Closed Now: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Open today: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Review Highlights
A gem in the rough!

We made arrangements for a permit before we left on vacation. The rangers explicitly state that you... read more

Reviewed April 29, 2018
Sherry P
West Linn, Oregon
Be sure to gas up and bring water!

We hiked the charlie bell trail. It's about 17.5 miles over rough roads with NO civilization just... read more

Reviewed November 23, 2017
Tabatha S
via mobile
Read all 18 reviews
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Traveller Overview
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good27%
  • Average0%
  • Poor16%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
This wilderness area, formed from over 850,000 acres of Sonoran Desert, consists of several mountain ranges separated by broad valleys.
Closed Now
Hours Today: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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1611 North Second Street, Ajo, AZ 85321-1634
+1 520-387-6483
Reviews (18)
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All reviews wilderness experience high clearance vehicle bell road border patrol bring water visitor center pronghorn smugglers nwr civilization sheep petroglyphs visitors cactus desert mile arizona
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1 - 10 of 18 reviews
Reviewed April 29, 2018

We made arrangements for a permit before we left on vacation. The rangers explicitly state that you should have a high clearance vehicle. We rented a Rav 4 and did hit a few high centered boulders on the last two miles of the Charlie Bell...More

Thank Sherry P
Reviewed February 5, 2018

Four wheel drive, high clearance vehicle is a must if you plan to go all the way to the end of the road on the section north of Ajo. I can’t be certain but I think this area is a lot less traveled than Camino...More

Thank Rebecca A
Reviewed February 3, 2018 via mobile

Tried to come to this visitor center. It closes by 4, which is what their website said. Bad on me. But the visitor center did not have any maps and the refuge is farther away. A bit confusing for anyone trying to explore on their...More

Thank Laura K
Reviewed November 23, 2017 via mobile

We hiked the charlie bell trail. It's about 17.5 miles over rough roads with NO civilization just to get to the trail head. So have a high clearance vehicle and bring everything you need. Within a 2 mile hike there is a spot to see...More

1  Thank Tabatha S
Reviewed September 7, 2017

My wife and I traveled here this past March and we enjoyed the beauty of the desert. This NWR is located in the southwestern corner of Arizona near the town of Ajo. It was established as a Game Range to protect the desert bighorn sheep....More

Thank BluegooseTraveler
Reviewed September 3, 2017

I've been visiting Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument for years and had never really heard anything about Cabeza Prieta until I did some research on the Sonoran pronghorn and learned there was a captive breeding program going on in Cabeza Prieta down Charlie Bell Road...More

Thank Robert C
Reviewed March 25, 2017

The place to go if you have a high-clearance vehicle, are willing to hike a few miles, aren't intimidated by drug smugglers, border crossers and the Border Patrol...and you want to see literally thousands Archaic Period (8,000 BC - AD 50) petroglyphs. You must first...More

2  Thank SonoraSteveTucson
Reviewed March 23, 2017

We really were interested in seeing this refuge but the web pages didn't really make it attractive. There was mention of a couple of old roads one could walk on but no indication of where these roads were or whether there were any trails. So...More

Thank Katharine G
Reviewed November 28, 2016

Cabeza is located close to Mexican boarder on Yuma dessert. To truly explore it you have to have a reliable vehicle and lots of water. Because of the particulars of this location a lot of areas are off limits. The best it is to start...More

2  Thank podrozniczka60
Reviewed May 25, 2016

The ladies at the refuge were so helpful to us, we saw a animal in the wetlands in tucson we could`t identify, we saw it at a distance and after some research on their part we concluded we saw a Coati. These ladies showed us...More

1  Thank Mariagrey
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