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Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

  • Rugged wilderness and mountains with no crowds
  • Ancient rock art symbols
  • Desert wilderness at Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge


  • This 860,000 acre wilderness provides wildlife watching and photography opportunities.
  • Wilderness camping is perfect for those seeking solitude and desert scenery.

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge


Visitors searching for a true desert experience will find lots of beautiful scenery, wildlife and solitude in Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. The 860,000 acres of desert habitat was originally established as a game preserve for desert bighorn sheep. Today, it also serves to manage and protect the endangered Sonoran pronghorn and lesser long nosed bat. The name, Cabeza Prieta, is Spanish for "dark head" - a referenced to the lava topped peaks in the preserve.
Visitors will find excellent wildlife viewing and photography opportunities. Primitive camping is allowed in some sections of the refuge, offering plenty of solitude. The visitor center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Although admission is free, visitors must obtain a permit for their stay. Permits are available at the following locations:  
Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge (Ajo, AZ), 520-387-6483
Bureau of Land Management (Phoenix, AZ), 623-580-5500
Luke Air Force Base at Gila Bend Auxiliary Field (Gila Bend, AZ), 928-683-6200
U.S. Marine Corps Air Station (Yuma, AZ), 928-269-7150

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Call 520-387-6483
Come visit us! Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Ajo, AZ - 85321,US

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