Black Mesa Ranger District
District Ranger: Christopher James
Phone Number: Voice: (928) 535-7300
Address: P.O. Box 968 Overgaard, AZ 85933 (mailing)
2748 East AZ 260 Overgaard, AZ 85933(physical)
Office hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday to Friday excluding Federal Holidays
Open year-round visitors will find a responsive staff available to answer questions about the area, informative literature, and gifts and souvenirs relating to the forest, history, and geology of the Rim. Many educational items are available for sale through Arizona Natural History Association, a cooperating not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting public agencies with interpretation and educational programs and promoting general respect for the public lands in the Southwest.
Winter has arrived along the Mogollon Rim, bringing freezing temperatures and snow to the high country. Some forest roads are now closed to wheeled vehicles. As of Wednesday, December 11, The Rim Lakes Recreation Area, including, but not limited to, all or parts of Forest Roads 300 (Rim Road), 169, 34, 75,89, 84, 115, 225, 75, 717, 180 and 119 and connecting roads are closed to wheeled motor vehicle use for the winter. This closure included access to Woods Canyon and Bear Canyon Lakes and the Rim Visitor's Center and Parking Lot.
As of February 11, 2014, access to Willow Springs Lake and Black Canyon Lake remains open; however, roads used to access the lakes may be ice and snow covered.
Forest Roads are not maintained or regularly patrolled during the winter months and traveling on forest roads is not advised and is at your own risk. When exploring the forest in winter don’t overestimate the ability of your vehicle. If a road looks impassable, it likely is. If you find that you are leaving ruts on or off the road, please reevaluate your need to enter the forest. Visitors found to be causing ruts or other damage to forest roads are subject to fines for resource damage and are responsible for any costs incurred if they need a tow truck to pull their vehicle back onto solid ground. No extraordinary measures will be taken to remove personal vehicles and equipment that becomes stuck on snowy forest roads. If you must venture into the forest, four wheel drive vehicles are recommended and always carry chains, extra clothing, blankets, food, water, and a cell phone. Remember to tell friends and family which roads you plan to travel and when you expect to be home. Plan ahead and be safe. (updated 1/3/2014)
For further information on forest conditions, call the Black Mesa Ranger District to inquire about road conditions and temporary winter closure. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is a source for road information across the state and their web address is http://www.az511.gov
The Apache-Sitgreaves is a ‘Pack-it-In, Pack-it-Out’ area. Be considerate of other visitors who will be coming to enjoy the forest after you and remove all evidence of your visit when you leave. Dispersed campers may leave their trash at Canyon Point Campground dump station or The Woods Canyon dump station located near Aspen Campground for a nominal fee. Leaving trash in the forest is not only illegal, it is unsightly, and it can be deadly to wildlife.
Current Closures in effect on the Black Mesa Ranger District
Rim Lakes Recreation Area, including Woods Canyon Lake, Bear Canyon Lake, Forest Road 300 and all connecting roads to the north are closed to wheeled motor vehicles for the winter. Click Here for Forest Order. Click Here for Map of Closure Area. All developed (fee for use) campgrounds are closed for the season. This includes, but is not limited to Canyon Point Campground, Sinkhole Campground, Rim Campground, Mogollon Campground, Crook Campground, Woods Canyon Campground, Spillway Campground, Aspen Campground, Black Canyon Rim Campground, Gentry Campground, Rocky Point Picnic Area, Woods Canyon Dump Station, and Canyon Point Dump Station. Woods Canyon Lake Store and Marina is also closed for the season but will reopen as soon as the roads are clear and open in the spring.
The Black Mesa Ranger District extends from Leonard Canyon, south of Winslow east to the communities of Clay Springs and Pinedale. The entire southern boundary of the district is defined by The Mogollon Rim, the southern edge of the great Colorado Plateau. This massive escarpment, created by a fault line, presents a nearly vertical drop as much as 2,000 feet to the forested hills and desert below. Many vantage points along The Rim offer remarkable viewing opportunities of the mountains and valleys to the south. The dramatic rise of the Mogollon Rim produces a sudden uplift to approaching storms resulting in a high incidence of lightning strikes during the summer, creating an active fire season from May to July.
Black Mesa’s elevations range from 4,500 feet in the northern Pinyon-juniper forests to 8,500 feet along the edge of The Rim where a dense mixed conifer forest thrives. The district encompasses approximately 616,000 acres of timber and has within its boundaries five high elevation lakes, numerous scenic canyons, 8 campgrounds offering about 400 campsites, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, OHV trails, non-motorized areas, several small communities and many developed inholdings. The District hosts thousands of visitors year-round from the Phoenix metropolitan area, which is within 2 and 1/2 hours travel time.
The Black Mesa Ranger District is home to a variety of wildlife species, including several threatened, endangered, and sensitive species including The Mexican Spotted Owl, Northern Goshawk, American Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Little Colorado Spinedace, and Bebb’s Willow. Wild game species include Rocky Mountain Elk, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Javelina, mountain lion, Black Bear, and Wild Turkey. The five lakes that dot The Rim are regularly stocked by Arizona Game and Fish and offer superb trout fishing opportunities throughout the warmer months.
Attractions and Events
The Black Mesa District has within its boundaries five high elevation lakes, numerous scenic canyons, and several campgrounds offering about 400 campsites. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound including mountain biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, picnicking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.
Fuelwood cutting information
The 2014 Winter/Spring cutting season runs from mid-January through May 11, 2014. Please call the Black Mesa Ranger District for more information.
Campground Host Opportunities
The Black Mesa Ranger District's summer host opportunities are all filled for the 2013 season. If you would like to consider volunteering for the 2014 season please check back. You can also go to www.Volunteer.gov to see what other opportunities may be available throughout the state.
Click Here to Apply ONLINE now then, Under "Find a Volunteer Opportunity" select "Arizona" then scroll down to "Apache-Sitgreaves Dispersed Camp Host" announcement