Southern Arizona Sights

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

  • 1611 N. 2nd Ave. Map It
  • Ajo
  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

Published 11/18/2015

Fodor's Review

This 860,000-acre national wildlife refuge, about 5 miles (a 10-minute drive) from Ajo, was established in 1939 as a preserve for endangered bighorn sheep and other Sonoran Desert wildlife, including the long-nosed bat and the Sonoran pronghorn deer, the fastest mammal in North America. People come here for hiking, photography, and primitive desert camping. A free permit, essentially a "hold-harmless" agreement, is required to enter, and only those with four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles, or all-terrain vehicles—needed to traverse the rugged terrain—can obtain one from the refuge's visitor center, which is in Ajo, about a mile north of the downtown plaza.

Sight Information


1611 N. 2nd Ave., at North St., Ajo, Arizona, 85321, USA

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Sight Details:

  • Free
  • Visitor center weekdays 8–4, refuge daily dawn–dusk

Published 11/18/2015


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