Galiuro Wilderness

Located in the Coronado National Forest in Arizona.

Located about 50 airline miles northeast of Tucson, the remote Galiuro Wilderness is accessible only by dirt roads. Congress set aside 52,717 acres in 1932 and then enlarged it to 76,317 acres in 1984. Elevations within the wilderness range from 4,000' to 7,671 feet.

The Galiuro Wilderness lies in the western portion of the Safford Ranger District in southeastern Arizona. The Galiuro Mountains are a very rough and brushy sample of the block-like uplifts rising abruptly from relatively level plains that are characteristic of southern Arizona. Natural geological erosion has produced many rugged cliffs and steep slopes which have brightly colored exposed soils and rocks. The mountain is a double range bisected by two main canyons, Rattlesnake and Redfield. The wilderness boundary generally follows the forest boundary on the west and approximately 1 mile east of Trail 287 on the east. Vegetation ranges from semi-desert grassland to mixed conifer. Riparian areas are found in canyons throughout the wilderness. There are few dependable water sources. Outstanding opportunities exist for solitude, viewing mountain scenery and primitive outdoor recreation.

Topography : The majority of the wilderness is steep rocky and brushy. Because of the rugged terrain, travel by foot and horseback is limited. A number of trails are poorly marked and infrequently maintained. Use of topographic maps and compass are suggested. The most prominent peaks and high points along the east divide include Bassett Peak (7,671 ft), Kennedy Peak (7,540 ft.) and Sunset Peak (7,094 ft.). Those along the west divide include Rhodes Peak (7,116 ft.), Maverick Mountain (6 990 ft) and Kielberg Peak (6 880 ft). The elevation drops to 4 000 feet several places along the west boundary.

Weather : Winter temperatures average lows of 20 degrees and highs of 45 degrees. Summer temperatures average lows of 45 degrees and highs of 97 degrees. Annual precipitation ranges from 14 to 18 inches. Weather conditions in the Galiuros may change rapidly and can be harsh.

Wildlife : Large mammals include mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep whitetailed deer, javelina, coyote, black bear and mountain lion. Small mammal species include cottontail rabbits, quail, dove, bandtail pigeon, ground squirrels; racoons, coatimundi, foxes, skunksand bobcats.

Vegetation: The vegetation varies from species associated with the semi-desert grassland type to those of the mixed conifer type. The majority of the south and west-facing slopes are covered with dense stands of manzanita, live oak, mahojany and other brush species. The higher slopes and ridgetops have moderate to dense stands of juniper, pinon and oak trees. Along the canyon bottoms and on the northern slopes of the higher elevations is Arizona cypress, Ponderosa pine, Chihuahua pine, Mexican White pine, Douglas fir and an occasional White fir may be found. Deciduous trees consisting of sycamore, alder, maple, ash, walnut and aspen grow in the riparian areas.

For further information contact: Safford Ranger District - Coronado National Forest

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 27 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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