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.
The Rim Lakes Recreation Area is OPEN! This includes Woods Canyon Lake Store and Marina and Forest Road 300 (The Rim Road) and all adjacent roads. Opening these forest roads allows access to Bear Canyon Lake on the ASNFs and Knoll Lake on the Coconino National Forest.
Developed campgrounds will remain closed until May 2, 2014, but dispersed camping opportunities are available across the district. No water or developed facilities are available in these dispersed areas and campers are reminded the Apache-Sitgreaves is a ‘Pack-it-In, Pack-it-Out’ forest. We ask that visitors be considerate of others by maintaining a clean campsite during their stay and removing all evidence of their visit when departing. Leaving trash in the forest is illegal, unsightly, and can be deadly to wildlife.
The forest has experienced a very mild winter and fuels are dryer than normal for this time of year. The smallest spark can quickly become a wildfire. Over 90 percent of wildfires are started by a careless human act. Forest visitors should have a plan for extinguishing a campfire before starting one. Do not start a fire if you don’t have the necessary equipment to extinguish it fully. The average campfire requires 5 to10 gallons of water and a shovel to put it out properly and completely.
For further information on forest conditions, call the Black Mesa Ranger District to inquire about road conditions. The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is a source for road information across the state and their web address is http://www.az511.gov
Current Closures in effect on the Black Mesa Ranger District
All developed (fee for use) campgrounds are closed until May 2, 2014. 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.
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
There are still opportunities for Dispersed Campground Hosts on The Black Mesa Ranger District. If you are interested in being a host for the 2014 Season, please contact the Black Mesa Ranger District at (928)535-7300