Plan Ahead


Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge offers excellent opportunities to explore one of the most biologically diverse deserts in this country.

What is beautiful can also be dangerous so take precautions and practice travel safety. Temperatures on summer days can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and winter nights can get as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If not prepared, you may encounter a life threatening situation.

There are no facilities on the refuge, including gasoline, sanitation or potable water. 

It is recommended that all visitors 

  • Bring two gallons of water per day, per person. 
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and pants for sun protection. 
  • Be prepared to carry out all trash, debris and other non-biodegradable waste.
  • Carry two spare tires and other spare mechanical parts in case of a breakdown.

The refuge has three non-wilderness, public-use roads that include El Camino Del Diablo, Christmas Pass and Charlie Bell Roads. If you plan to travel on the refuge, four-wheel drive vehicles are required on two of the three routes (El Camino Del Diablo and Christmas Pass). Though Charlie Bell Road can be traversed in a 2-wheel vehicle, it requires a vehicle with high-clearance.

For your safety and for the protection of wildlife, vehicles are restricted to public use roads and should be parked no farther than 50 feet of the center line of the roads in areas previously used by other vehicles.