17-Mile Road Access – Turn west off of Highway 93 at milepost 143, located about 60 miles north of Wickenburg. Follow 17-Mile Road west for 6 miles until the wilderness boundary is reached. A jeep road running south from this point provides access to the Government Wash area. 17-Mile Road also follows the north wilderness boundary for the next 5 miles.
Palmerita Ranch Access – From Wickenburg, follow Highway 60 west to Wenden. Turn north onto a paved road toward Alamo Lake State Park. Turn right (east) onto a bladed dirt road at milepost 28. Drive 3 miles to the intersection with Alamo Lake Road at the Wayside RV Park. Turn right (south) on Alamo Lake Road and drive 0.5 miles. Turn left (east) onto Palmerita Road and drive 7 miles to the Palmerita Ranch, where you can park. This provides access to the Santa Maria River and the south side of the wilderness.
The 129,800-acre Arrastra Mountain Wilderness is located in Mohave, Yavapai, and La Paz counties, 100 miles northwest of Phoenix and 70 miles southeast of Kingman, Arizona. This sprawling wildland encompasses imposing landscapes and unique natural features. The Poachie Range, which trends northwest-southeast through the north-central portion of the wilderness, rises to almost 5,000 feet. The gradual southern slopes of the range are interrupted by several isolated volcanic plugs and numerous drainages, several of which have been deeply incised into a bright orange mudstone.
The western and southern portions of the wilderness encompass more than 20 miles of the ephemeral Big Sandy and Santa Maria rivers. West of the Big Sandy River, the Artillery Mountains are dominated by the striking red Artillery Peak, a 1,200-foot tall volcanic plug. The east side of the wilderness contains the uniquely pristine Peoples Canyon. Several springs here maintain a two-mile-long chain of deep, interconnecting pools densely shaded by hundreds of sycamores, willows, and cottonwoods.
Know Before You Go
- A four-wheel drive vehicle is strongly recommended to gain access to this wilderness.
- The terrain in this wilderness is extremely rugged. A few old vehicle ways provide hiking routes in some places, but the most commonly used routes are the sand washes which dissect the area. Burro trails can sometimes be located and followed on uplands. No formal hiking trails exist in this wilderness unit.
- The summer climate in this wilderness unit is harsh. Daytime temperatures during the summer months are over 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October 1 and April 30th.
- Water is relatively scarce in this unit. Pack all water needed for a trip and purify any water found in the wilderness.
- Please follow the regulations in place for this area, and use Leave No Trace techniques when visiting to ensure protection of its unique natural and experiential qualities.
- Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles (including OHVs), motorboats, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters. Contact the agency for more information about regulations.
- Some lands around and within the wilderness are not federally administered. Please respect the property rights of the owners and do not cross or use these lands without their permission.