Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona

#127 of 154 in Wildlife in Arizona
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
On Kofa NWR in southwest Arizona, the Castle Dome and Kofa Mountains rise up abruptly from the plains of the Sonoran Desert. The two mountain ranges dominate the 665,400-acre refuge, of which more than 80 percent is designated as wilderness. The rugged mountains provide excellent desert bighorn sheep habitat, whereas the desert plains are ideal for the endangered Sonoran pronghorn whose numbers the refuge is working to recover.

The teddybear cholla and the towering saguaro cactus are common on Kofa NWR. These and other species of cacti are able to store large quantities of water to survive the harsh desert environment. Palm Canyon, located in the western region of the refuge, is well known for its native California fan palms. Numbering less than 100, the handful of trees is among the only native palms in Arizona.

The vast desert environment is home to numerous animal species. Large-eared mule deer can be seen finding respite from the heat under trees and overhanging banks. Coyotes can be observed darting across the road. The venomous Gila monster, the largest land lizard native to the U.S., might be spotted while driving or hiking on a cool morning. Other species found on Kofa NWR include desert tortoises, mountain lions, foxes, rattlesnakes, turkey vultures, and Gambel’s quails.
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Kofa National Wildlife Refuge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
21 reviews
  • Rough 15 miles in Right off the Castle Dome road about 2 mile south of the museum. You'll need a high clearance vehicle and 4x4 to manage a couple of rough spots. The road ends at a turnaround at...  more »
  • We came down here from Quartzsite to visit Palm Canyon. What we didn't know was how awesome the Kofa NWR is. After we visited Palm Canyon, we traveled on most of the roads in the Kofa NWR.. The...  more »
  • WOW! A great park, amazing views! I can’t say enough about how nice this park is. Very clean and comfortable. We saw one other car while camping. Almost all sites are level. Only the last two are not. Take the time to make a stop and see the sunset and sunrise. The short hike is well worth the trip to see the palm trees!!
  • The Sonoran desert is a timeless beauty. As the sun approaches the horizon the views rapidly evolve into an orange glow. If possible, hike up the side of a mountain near sunset to get the full effect.

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