Wilderness is designated by Congress as "an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence."  Wilderness is a repository of clean air and water, unfragmented wildlife habitat, and natural areas for research and education.  The USFS Wilderness Stewardship brochure explains more about designated Wilderness and how you can become involved in helping care for this precious resource. 

Prescott National Forest's eight wilderness areas are ideal places to view wildlife, hike, ride horses, backpack, find solitude, and connect with Nature:  

  • Apache Creek Wilderness: Remote, accessed via unpaved roads, high clearance vehicles recommended; near Juniper Mesa Wilderness; western edge of the Chino Valley Ranger District
  • Castle Creek Wilderness: Bradshaw Ranger District; in the general vicinity of town of Crown King and the Horsethief Basin Recreation Area; accessed via unpaved roads; high clearance vehicles recommended
  • Cedar Bench Wilderness: Accessed via unpaved roads, high clearance 4WD vehicles recommended; Verde Ranger District; near Pine Mountain Wilderness; south of the town of Camp Verde
  • Granite Mountain Wilderness: Most used Wilderness Area on the forest; just north of the City of Prescott; easy access via the Granite Basin Recreation Area and the Williamson Valley Trailhead
  • Juniper Mesa Wilderness: Remote, accessed via unpaved roads, high clearance vehicles recommended; near Apache Creek Wilderness; western edge of the Chino Valley Ranger District
  • Pine Mountain Wilderness: Remote; near Cedar Bench Wilderness; Verde Ranger District (shared with Tonto National Forest); access via Dugas Road off I-17; high clearance 4WD vehicles recommended
  • Sycamore Canyon Wilderness: Largest Wilderness Area on the forest; Chino Valley and Verde Ranger Districts on the Prescott NF; shared with the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests; Accessed via unpaved roads, high clearance vehicles recommended   
  • Woodchute Wilderness: Verde Ranger District; Between Jerome and Prescott Valley, AZ; easy access via Mingus Mountain Scenic Route (Highway 89-A), and Forest Road 106 which is unpaved but suitable for most passenger vehicles