Black Mesa Ranger District




Office Information 

District Ranger: Richard Madril

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 majority of the Rim Lakes Recreation Area opened to the public on Saturday, April 20.  Heavy snow and lingering moisture persists on many roads on the west side of the district. 

Road and parking lot construction continues on Forest Road 105, access to Woods Canyon Lake. This road remains closed to motor vehicles until Friday, April 26, 2019. the boat ramp is currently inaccessible due to construction.  Anticipated opening of the Woods Canyon Lake boat ramp and boat parking area is mid-May, 2019. 

Weather can be unpredictable. Always carry extra clothing, food, blankets, and a cell phone. Let others know where you plan to travel and when you expect to be home. Drivers can expect to encounter snow and lingering moisture in many areas. Passenger vehicles are not recommended on most forest roads at this time.  For information on forest road conditions, call the Black Mesa Ranger District.  The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is a source for road information across the state and their web address is

Never blindly trust directions given by a GPS - always double check road conditions along the suggested route BEFORE traveling. 


 Website may not be fully up-to-date


Area Description

 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 more than 400 campsites. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound including mountain biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, picnicking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

Fuelwood cutting information

Personal fuelwood permits are available.  Please call the Black Mesa Ranger District for more information.


Volunteer Opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for recreation and visitor services volunteers on the Black Mesa Ranger District.   Generally, volunteers are asked to be available for the entire recreation season from Memorial Day through Labor Day. If you are interested in being a volunteer for the 2019 season, please contact the Black Mesa Ranger District at (928)535-7300 or click here for further information.