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Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

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Address: 1611 North Second Street, Ajo, AZ 85321-1634
Phone Number:
07:30 - 16:30
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Mon - Fri 07:30 - 16:30

This wilderness area, formed from over 850,000 acres of Sonoran Desert,...

This wilderness area, formed from over 850,000 acres of Sonoran Desert, consists of several mountain ranges separated by broad valleys.

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Beautiful wildlife and dessert plant area.

Cabeza is located close to Mexican boarder on Yuma dessert. To truly explore it you have to have a reliable vehicle and lots of water. Because of the particulars of this location... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 29 November 2016
New Jersey
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10 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 10: English reviews
New Jersey
Level Contributor
1,759 reviews
991 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,151 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2016

Cabeza is located close to Mexican boarder on Yuma dessert. To truly explore it you have to have a reliable vehicle and lots of water. Because of the particulars of this location a lot of areas are off limits. The best it is to start at the visitor's center. It is very informative. Watch the educational film they present to... More 

2 Thank podrozniczka60
Level Contributor
134 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2016

The ladies at the refuge were so helpful to us, we saw a animal in the wetlands in tucson we could`t identify, we saw it at a distance and after some research on their part we concluded we saw a Coati. These ladies showed us the small exhibit and let us know the film is very informative ( we did... More 

1 Thank Mariagrey
Peoria, Arizona
Level Contributor
56 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2016 via mobile

Stopped at the visitor center on a Wednesday right after they opened. The lights weren't even on yet but the lady let us in and turned on the exhibits so we could look. I have lived in Arizona all of my life and even learned about some new animals i didnt know we had!! She was very friendly and informative... More 

1 Thank Amanda A
Level Contributor
355 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 May 2016

I did not go out into the actual Cabeza Prieta wilderness area, but I did spend some time at the visitor center in Ajo. The visitor center is very small, but free. There is a clean restroom there. When I tried to watch the video, I could not get it to come on. I went to the office area and... More 

2 Thank Blaize S
Detroit, United States
Level Contributor
43 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2016

I didn't actually visit the refuge, but I did visit the visitor's center at the entrance to the refuge. Very nice, clean facility, small museum, clean bathrooms. On the advice of a local Ajo resident I watched the 30-min. intro video, very informative about the desert and how plants and animals survive in 130-degree heat. After watching the intro I... More 

Thank Tanya G
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2016 via mobile

Nice hike to a Mica mine. Beautiful surrounding and cactus. Be sure you take water and start early to avoid the heat. Go to the visitors center in town and watch the short video to get the info.Free permits. DO NOT disturb the environment, just look and admire the awesome landscape.

2 Thank Bill L
Tarbes, France
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2014

I am from France and crossed Cabeza Preta NWR on a trip from Ajo to Yuma in 1998. It's a kind of mystic experience away from time and civilisation. A bit terrific also, as I was there... in july ! I was alone there, with my wife and my son10 years old, bringing plenty of extra water. Saw nobody in... More 

5 Thank jean B
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
1,116 reviews
741 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 531 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2014

The Cabeza Prieta NWR (named for a mountain peak that has a dark section of rock at the top) is a HUGE refuge about 2.5 hours south of Phoenix or 2 hours east of Tucson. It consists of more than 800,000 acres of very remote Sonoran Desert with a few unimproved roads throughout. The refuge abuts Organ Pipe Cactus National... More 

8 Thank JT_Turner3
Sierra Foothills
Level Contributor
44 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 January 2014

Contrary to the previous contributor's review, we absolutely loved our trip through Cabeza Prieta National Wildlfe Refuge. We traversed the area late December 2013 starting from the Barry M. Goldwater Range outside of Wellton, AZ and traveled on El Camino Del Diablo east to Ajo, AZ. You do need to have a permit to travel through the CPNWR and naturally,... More 

4 Thank PamNGreg
Moreno Valley, California
Level Contributor
413 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 736 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2011

The vast Cabeza Prieta Refuge (CPR) should only be visited by serious and experienced outdoorsmen and women with demonstrated back-road, wilderness experience. There are no paved roads, motels, service stations, food stores or any other tourist facilities within the Refuge property. First, however, all are welcome at the well-operated CPR Visitors Center along Highway 85 in the town of Ajo.... More 

7 Thank MonkeyOnTheWing

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?