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Tour Agua Fria Monument
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* Park Overview *

    Agua Fria National Monument is a 71,000-acre semi-desert wilderness preserve that covers Perry Mesa and Black Mesa. It is located about 40 miles north of Phoenix along the east side of the I-17 freeway.

    Agua Fria River Canyon is a rich riparian habitat area within this park preserve. This stretch runs between Black Canyon City and Cordes Lake.

    Prehistoric Ruins: Also found here are 450 prehistoric sites, one of the most significant archealogical concentrations of the American Southwest. These include petroglyphs, terraced landscapes and pueblo ruins which suggest a substantial population dwelt here between AD 1250-1450 by an agrarian society skilled at sustaining life in the desert.

    Park Wildlife: Abundant wildlife can be found here, including pronghorn, mountain lions, javelinas, white-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, a variety of small mammals and songbirds. Eagles and other raptors may also be seen. Native fish such as the longfin dace, the Gila mountain sucker, the Gila chub, and the speckled dace, exist in the Agua Fria River and its tributaries.

    Recreational Activities: Permitted activities include camping, hiking and picnicking. There are no developed sites or trails. The terrain here is quite rugged.

    Pueblo La Plata: a major settlement of stone masonry pueblos. To visit la Plata, travel 8.3 miles on Bloody Basin Road from the entrance of the national monument. Turn north and follow the dirt road for approximately one mile. A high clearance vehicle is recommended.

    Summer visitors must take extra precaution to drink plenty of water as temperatures may exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a large brimmed hat are recommended.


    Agua Fria National Monument
    BLM, 21605 N. 7th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85027;
    623-580-5500; Park Website;
    Trailhead 1: From I-17 exit 259 to Bloody Basin Road
    Trailhead 2: From I-17 exit 256 to Badger Springs area.

Six Flags Theme Parks - Buy Tickets Online Now!


Friends of the Aqua Fria - Conservancy Group
Guide to Agua Fria - Arizona Sierra Club
BLM Map of Agua Fria
Aqua Fria Bird List - Sonoran Audubon Society

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