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Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area

Pinaleno + Chiricahua Mountains Area, Arizona

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Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area

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  • The Gila River creates a refuge from the southern Arizona heat.- Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
  • Dogs are allowed, and there are plenty of sticks for them to play with.- Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
  • Striking riparian views in the Gila wilderness.- Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
  • There is a nice sandy beach near the parking area. However, it's mostly cobble bars along this stretch of river.- Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
  • Dogs are welcome here.- Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
  • Views of the river in the Gila Wilderness.- Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
  • Dog-friendly rivers and a stick-loving dog.- Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great swimming and fishing.
Cons: 
Small beaches.
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Region:
Pinaleno + Chiricahua Mountains Area, AZ
Congestion: 
Moderate
Location type: 
Sandy beach
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

The Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area is a 23,000-acre riparian area where Eagle and Bonita creeks join the Gila River. Just outside of Safford, Arizona, this spot has been popular with whitewater kayakers for a long time.

The Gila Box conservation area offers opportunities for camping, birding, boating, and fishing. In early spring the Gila swells with snowmelt, creating some fun whitewater, but as the summer wears on the flow decreases, and the area becomes prime for swimming.

This section of the river offers few amenities: A handful of vault toilets, picnic tables, and ramadas are all that you can expect here. The conservation area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, contains two campgrounds, and allows for dispersed camping in non-riparian areas. The roads are gravel, but the major ones are easily navigated by small sedans in all but the worst weather. Side roads are often more primitive and require higher clearance and four-wheel drive.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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