Visitor Activities


Enjoy Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge!

Wildlife Observation & Photography:
The best times to see and photograph wildlife are early in the morning and late in the evening. For the best viewing, be patient and quiet. The historical El Camino Del Diablo and Charlie Bell roads are open to hiking. Be prepared for the refuge’s rough roads. Though watering holes are good places to watch wildlife, please do not linger as wildlife depend on them for their survival. For an easy nature fix, be sure to stop by the headquarters to enjoy the pollinator trail (and pollinators that use it!) complete with bird blinds and a pond.

The refuge offers a limited desert bighorn sheep hunt each December.  Administered by, and in cooperation with, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, hunting tags are issued based upon data collected from the aerial sheep survey conducted every three years. Usually five to six tags are issued. In addition to obtaining a hunt permit from the State, a special use permit must be obtained from the refuge. For more information on the hunt program, contact the refuge or the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Interpretation and Education:
Learn about the Sonoran desert’s best kept secrets through interactive displays at the visitor center. Behind the visitor center, tour the interpretative pollinator trail complete with bird blinds and a desert pupfish pond.

On the second Saturday from November to April, enjoy a spectacular sunset and amazing view of the valley floor from the refuge’s auto tour to the top of Child’s Mountain. Contact the refuge to learn more about tours, programs and other ways you can enjoy Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

Primitive Camping:
Visitors are encouraged to camp at one of the designated unimproved campgrounds. No reservations are necessary. Camping is limited to 14 days within any given 28-day period. No camping is allowed within ¼ mile of any game water source. You must bring your own wood as there is no gathering of local wood. Each site has a stationary table.

Bicycles are allowed on the public roads only, not off road or Government Use Only roads.

Pack Stock and Horses:
Riding and pack stock are allowed on the refuge with a special use permit issued by the refuge manager.