DescriptionNorth of Phoenix off I-17 exit 259 to Bloody Basin Road or off exit 256 to Badger Springs, Agua Fria National Monument embraces 71,000 acres including the Agua Fria River canyon between Black Canyon City and Cordes Lakes.
The river canyon, at an elevation of 2,150 feet above sea level, and Perry and Black mesas are the primary formations; elevations in the northern hills reach 4,500 feet. The monument preserves thousands of prehistoric sites with more than 450 surveyed and recorded. Petroglyphs, terraced landscapes and pueblo ruins suggest the area was heavily populated A.D. 1250-1450 by an agrarian society skilled at growing food and sustaining life in the desert.
Semidesert grasslands and a riparian forest support abundant wildlife, including pronghorn, mountain lions, javelinas and white-tailed deer.
Camping, hiking and picnicking are permitted. Because the terrain is rugged and rocky, a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended in most locations. For further information contact the Monument Manager, Phoenix District, Bureau of Land Management, 21605 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027; phone (623) 580-5500.