Agua Fria National Monument is a beautiful place in Arizona. Agua Fria National Monument was created to protect the Agua Fria River and its riparian habitat, which is vital for local wildlife. The Agua Fria flows north from the Mogollon Rim through grasslands, juniper forests, ponderosa pine-oak woodlands, and desert before joining with the Gila River near Payson. It's a peaceful oasis of green relief after hours of driving along dusty roads or hiking across hot desert landscapes. Read more to learn what can Agua Fria National Monument has to offer.
All Abot Agua Fria National Monument
The diverse vegetative communities, topographic features, and dormant volcanoes decorate the landscape with a big rocky plateau. This expansive mosaic of semi-desert area is cut by ribbons that represent valuable riparian forests making it one of the most significant systems for prehistoric sites in America's southwest.
The national monument contains rich human history and outstanding biological resources. Coyotes, bobcats, antelope, and other wildlife thrive in the area that has been preserved for posterity as home to these species today by designation as a National Park or Monument under federal law which protects them from development so they can continue their existence unfettered by human interference such as farming on land dedicated just because it's there but also providing habitat necessary not only food sources like vegetation used primarily at local farms.
Things To Do
Viewing Cultural Sites
Agua Fria National Monument is home to an amazing collection of cultural resources. The Agua Fria National Monument Interpretive Association (AFNMA) works hard to preserve and protect these historic features while sharing them with the public. Visitors can explore petroglyphs, granaries, rock shelters, pit houses, lithic scatters, and more across this vast landscape. It offers opportunities for recreation enthusiasts as well.
Agua Fria National Monument is home to a large variety of plants and animals. Some common wildlife you might see while hiking at Agua Fria includes mule deer, coyote, elk, wild turkey, quail, and more.
Birdwatching is a popular activity in Agua Fria National Monument. The monument is home to many species of birds, including the black-chinned hummingbird and Yuma clapper rail.
Agua Fria National Monument has several trails for hikers including easy hikes that take you along a small creek with lush vegetation or more difficult routes featuring steep inclines up hillsides lined with barrel cactus. The Peralta Trail leads visitors through washes filled with mesquite trees where they are likely to see bighorn sheep on the red cliffs above. Agua Fria also has several trails for mountain biking and horseback riding, which are available just before the Visitor Center near the campgrounds.
Scenic Drives are known for their picturesque views, small towns, and roadside attractions. Agua Fria National Monument is no exception to this rule. The drive through Agua Fria National Monument offers scenic beauty like few other places in Arizona.
Camping And Lodging
There is no place to camp inside of this historic landmark. However, there are undeveloped areas outside that you may use for camping with a 14-day limit and local options in Black Canyon City or Cordes Lakes if needed.
The elevation of the monument ranges from 2,000 to 4,000 feet. If you're visiting in summer and temperatures may exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43ºC). They recommend wearing sunscreen sunglasses along with a large-brimmed hat so that your entire face is covered while enjoying all of these great scenic views. Make sure your gas tank is on full, carry extra water, or just stay hydrated by drinking plenty throughout the day, also make sure any vehicle is in good condition.
Agua Fria National Monument is located 40 miles north of Phoenix. Get there by traveling on Interstate 17 to the Badger Springs (exit 256), Bloody Basin Road (exit 259) or Cordes Junction exits, and then getting off at exit 296 for Agua Fria Park/Monument Ruins Driveway that leads into this historic site.
Agua Fria National Monument is a fantastic place for visitors of all interests. Whether you are looking to see some great sites, get in some birdwatching or hiking time, take scenic drives, camp out under the stars or stay at one of our accommodations nearby, we have something that will fit your needs. Visit us soon and discover this hidden gem for yourself.
Gilbert, Arizona is surrounded by some of the most picturesque national parks in the nation. Here’s a shortlist of our favorites you should visit:
- Tonto National Monument
- Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
- Water Users Recreation Site
- Phoenix Mountains Preserve
- Recreación Area
- Tonto National Forest
- North Trail McDowell Mountain Regional Park
- Salome Wilderness
All of these wonderful national parks are located just a short distance from our offices located at 1447 West Elliot Road #103 in Gilbert! Stop by for a visit anytime!