Exciting Wilderness Service Projects, Special Events, and Volunteer Opportunities All Year Long!
Have fun and discover Arizona's wilderness areas, and give back to our public lands!
Please RSVP only when you are ready to secure a spot on a Wild Stew trip, as we are limited to 15 people in wilderness areas. You will be prompted to create a Meetup account or signin to Meetup (also via Facebook). Meetup is free and does not sell or rent your information to third parties.
18: Munds Mountain Wilderness, Coconino National Forest
Arizona is well known for its red-rock formations, conjuring up images of magnificent crimson outcroppings set against azure skies. Munds Mountain Wilderness is home to many of these ruggedly beautiful specimens, along with several traditional high mesas common to central Arizona. Elevations on the mountain itself range from 3,600 feet to 6,825 feet, and moderate to steep slopes climb all along the Mogollon Rim. Cliff faces are marked with extensive outcroppings of Coconino and Supai sandstone, and ramp basalt flows everywhere. Additional details...
22-23: West Clear Creek Wilderness, Coconino National Forest
National Trails Day Despite the fact that West Clear Creek Wilderness is only one-half mile to two miles wide, the canyon offers wonderful opportunities for solitude. As for beauty, serenity, and complexity, the hiking is rarely exceeded in Arizona. Wild, primitive, and trail-less, the canyon bottom is narrow and filled with water in places, requiring you to swim or wade if you hike the entire length. The U.S. Forest Service calls West Clear Creek Wilderness "one of the most rugged, remote canyons in northern Arizona." Clear Creek Canyon, opening on the Verde River on the west, is the longest canyon cutting through the Mogollon Rim along the edge of the Colorado Plateau. The canyon's very steep walls reach as high as 1,000 feet. It extends about 20 miles eastward before splitting into Clover Creek and Willow Valley, which form the headwaters of West Clear Creek. Pine and fir grow higher up, pinion and juniper on the slopes, and along the creek is a riparian habitat dominated by sycamore, alder, and cottonwood. Additional details...
13: Individual Wilderness Steward Training
The Wild Stew program is more than just our AWC-led field events, we also have a cadre of trained individuals who serve as Wilderness Stewards on their own time. Individual Stewards receive training on wilderness philosophy and history, federal wilderness management policy, field monitoring protocols and techniques, first aid, backcountry travel preparedness, and more. This one-day training prepares you to collect field data while you are exploring one of Arizona’s 90 wilderness areas. We request your commitment to monitor wilderness conditions twice per year, either in different locations or at an adopted area. Simply observe and report, all while enjoying the outdoors. Learn more...
14-15: Kachina Peaks Wilderness, Coconino National Forest
Rising to truly majestic summits, Kachina Peaks Wilderness area boasts 12,643-foot Humphrey's Peak, the highest point in Arizona. The Wilderness is part of a large and heavily vegetated composite volcano, which bears signs of a rich geologic past that included violent eruptions and lava flows. Arizona's best examples of Ice Age glaciation can be found here in lateral and medial moraines and abandoned stream beds. Erosion and frost have helped shape this area. The only arctic-alpine vegetation in the state grows up here in a fragile two-square-mile zone (18,616 acres). These peaks are also sacred to tribes including the Havasupai, Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni. Several religious shrines have been identified in the Wilderness, some of which are currently in use.
28-29: Apache Creek Wilderness, Prescott National Forest
Remote, and relatively rugged, Apache Creek Wilderness offers rolling hills of juniper and pinion pine interspersed with outcroppings of granite boulders and ponderosa pine. Time, wind, and water have smoothed the rock, providing excellent habitat for mountain lions and numerous bird species. Three natural springs feed several important riparian ecosystems, including Apache Creek itself. Apache Creek Wilderness is 5,666 acres, with elevations ranging from 5,280 feet to 6,970 feet.
12-13: Castle Creek Wilderness, Prescott National Forest
On the stark eastern slopes of the Bradshaw Mountains, Castle Creek Wilderness stands between Phoenix and Flagstaff, easily accessible from both. Extremely rugged topography rises to granite peaks that top off at 7,000 feet on Juniper Ridge, offering overlooks of the Agua Fria National Monument. In the southeastern corner of the wilderness the elevation drops to 2,800 feet. Saguaro cactus, paloverde, mesquite, jojoba, catclaw, and grasslands dominate the lower elevations. Up higher you'll find chaparral communities of shrub live oak, mountain mahogany, and manzanita with pinion and juniper on southern slopes. Dense populations of mule deer and javelina inhabit this area, along with a few mountain lions, bobcats, black bears, coyotes, rabbits, foxes, skunks, and badgers. Snakes and lizards live here, and numerous birds soar overhead, including doves, quail, hawks, owls, ravens, jays, and many smaller species.
26-27: Mazatzal Wilderness, Tonto National Forest
In the language of the Aztecs mazatzal means "an area inhabited by deer," but just how the word reached Arizona, or what significance it holds, remains somewhat of a mystery. Established as a Primitive Area in 1938, Mazatzal became pre-Wilderness Act "wilderness" in 1940 and one of the original Wilderness Areas in 1964. Narrow, vertical, difficult-to-access canyons fill the central and eastern portions, while the Verde River rolls through the western portion, surrounded by riparian terrain along both sides. Given how close Mazatzal is to Mesa, a major population center, this is a remarkably remote and beautiful area. Elevations range from 2,100 feet at Sheep Bridge in the southwest to 7,903 feet on Mazatzal Peak. Sonoran Desert shrubland in the west rises to semidesert grasslands, then mountain shrubs such as manzanita and turbinella oak. The higher elevations support scattered pinion-juniper woodlands and a few ponderosa pines and Douglas fir.
9-10: Mt. Wrightson Wilderness, Coronado National Forest
Rising a magnificent 7,000 feet from the desert floor, 9,452-foot-high Mount Wrightson is visible from great distances. At the core of the Santa Rita Mountains, Mt Wrightson Wilderness has rough hillsides, deep canyons, and lofty ridges and peaks surrounded on all sides by semiarid hills and sloping grasslands. Ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir dominate the upper elevations. The stream-fed canyons support an abundance of plant and animal life, including many montane Mexican plants that grow nowhere else north of the border. There are also many species seen in few other places in the United States. At the foot of Madera Canyon on the edge of the Wilderness, a developed recreation area serves as a popular jumping-off point for backpackers.
23-24: Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, Prescott National Forest
The sprawling Sycamore Canyon Wilderness encompasses all of Sycamore Canyon, from its pine- and fir-forested rim on the Colorado Plateau down through the Mogollon Rim to its desert mouth in the Verde Valley. The canyon winds for over 20 miles along Sycamore Creek, at places stretching seven miles from rim to rim. Carved walls reveal layers of lovely red sandstone, spectacular white limestone, and rugged brown lava. Pinnacles tower above the high, colorful cliffs, and the water of the creek allows a rich habitat to flourish, including sycamores, walnuts, and cottonwoods. It is one of Arizona's most dramatic and beautiful canyons.
7-8: Superstition Wilderness, Tonto National Forest
Although there is no guarantee that you'll find buried treasure in the Superstition Wilderness, you are sure to discover miles and miles of desolate and barren mountains, seemingly endless and haunting canyons, raging summer temperatures, and a general dearth of water. Even the area's earliest known inhabitants, the hardy Hohokam and Salados peoples, established only very small villages and cliff dwellings in this harsh and fabulous country between 800 and 1400 a.d. The Wilderness value of the Superstitions has long been recognized. Established as a Primitive Area in 1939, it was named a pre-Wilderness Act "wilderness" in 1940, and became an official Wilderness in 1964. Elevations range from approximately 2,000 feet on the western boundary to 6,265 feet on Mound Mountain. In the western portion rolling land is surrounded by steep, even vertical terrain. Weaver's Needle, a dramatic volcanic plug, rises to 4,553 feet.