Size: 55,000 acres
The Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (CMA) is 55,000 acres of rugged beauty, lush riperian areas and an array of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. This area is jointly owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. These three groups are working together to conserve and enhance the unique ecosystems found here and protect endangered species as well as the areas they depend upon.
Within the Muleshoe is found most of the watershed area for seven perennial or permanently flowing streams, representing some of the best remaining aquatic habitat in Arizona. Some 80% of the region's wildlife species also depend upon these streamside communities at some time in their lives. The importance of this area to early settlers is seen in the numerous ranches and homesteads that dotted the area in the last 150 years. they were also critically dependent upon the riparian communities for their survival in such a rigorous landscape.
The Muleshoe provides everyone with an opportunity to learn more about southeastern Arizona's rich natural and cultural history.
The following will help direct visitors around the Muleshoe Ranch and provide a guidelines for the benefit of all who come to enjoy the many opportunities found here.
1. The Muleshoe Ranch Headquarters encompasses the area directly adjacent to and including the entrance to the CMA. this includes the Camping Area, Nature Trail and headquarters facilities. the Muleshoe Ranch Headquarters is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy. Casita and camping are available at the Muleshoe Ranch Headquarters to visitors wishing to stay overnight. Reservations should be made in advance by calling (602) 384-2626.
All visitors should register at the information and registration area. Day-use visitors not continuing by vehicle into the CMA are asked to park either in the day-use parking area or Headquarters parking area.
2. The Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area (CMA) is a mosaic of public and private land cooperatively managed by the Nature Conservancy, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. All regulations and guidelines pertaining to public lands, including wilderness areas, apply to BLM and Forest Service lands within the CMA.
Access by vehicle, horseback or hiking to the CMA is provided by Jackson Cabin Road. However, this road is limited to 4-wheel drive vehicles only since it is very rough, not well maintained and subject to regular washouts. Drivers assume this risk.
Access to the CMA is also provided to hikers and horseback riders by the Beth Woodin Scenic Vista Trail. This 6 mile loop trail begins behind the Headquarters, next to the corrals. Day hikers wishing to drive to Bass canyon via Jackson Cabin Road are asked to park in the designated area found in the canyon.
Backcountry facilities in the CMA are available for overnight use. Pride ranch, owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy, is located approximately 6 miles from the Headquarters area via Jackson Cabin Road. Please contact the Muleshoe Ranch Headquarters for information and availability. Other backcountry destinations include Jackson Cabin (approx. 14 miles) and Hooker Cabin (approx. 20 miles).
3. The Riparian Monitoring Zones are designated areas within the CMA that are of special environmental concern because of their unique flora, fauna and hydrologic values. Activities permitted within these areas include hiking, low-impact camping and horseback riding.
For the safety of others and protection of the endangered species in these areas, The Nature Conservancy asks that you please refrain from the following activities within the Riparian Monitoring Zones:
From Benson, take the Pomerene Road exit north through Pomerene and up the San Pedro Valley. Take the road with the sign to Willcox east. If you get to Cascabel, you have gone too far. This road is the same road described above, but the sign to Hooker Hot Springs is much harder to see approaching from this side. However, the traffic is not heavy and you can turn around or back up to take the turn to the ranch if you pass it.
BLM Safford District
425 E. 4th Street
Safford, AZ 85546
U.S. Forest Service
Safford Ranger District
P.O. Box 709
Safford, AZ 85548
Return to Day 17
Return to Day 18