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Fodor's Arizona & the Grand Canyon 2014
Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area
Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area Review
Outside Willcox is the headquarters for the Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area, nearly 50,000 acres of riparian desert land in the foothills of the Galiuro Mountains that are jointly owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. It's a 30-mile drive on a dirt road to the ranch—it takes about an hour—but the scenery, wildlife, and hiking are worth the bumps.
The varied terrain of mesquite bosks, desert grasslands, and rocky canyons is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including desert tortoise, javelina, mule deer, hognose skunk, Montezuma quail, and great horned owl. You might also catch a glimpse of roaming bands of coatimundi—unusual looking omnivores resembling land-bound monkeys. Backcountry mountain-biking trips can be arranged by the ranch, and overnight accommodations are available. Hiking is self-guided, and Nature Conservancy staff can suggest trails to suit your interests.
To reach the ranch, take Exit 340 off Interstate 10 and head south on Rex Allen Drive. Turn right on Bisbee Avenue, continue to Airport Road, turn right again, and after 15 miles take the right fork at a junction just past a group of mailboxes and continue to the end of the road.
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