Swansea Wilderness access point
The Swansea Wilderness is in a section of Arizona that sees few human visitors. The Bill Williams River cuts a deep, 6-mile gorge across the center of the wilderness. The river creates a riparian habitat as it flows westward from Alamo Lake State Park, through the Rawhide Mountains Wilderness to Swansea Wilderness and on to the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge. North of the river is a zone of eroded volcanic plugs and dikes with some serious cliffs. South of the river are the Buckskin Mountains, a rounded desert range with a complex drainage system that leads north to the river. Hikers and horseback riders do best by following the water flows, because there are no established trails on these 16,400 acres. Rock climbers tend to head for the river and that cliffy stuff above the north shore...
Get off the I-10 at the Vicksburg exit and go north to Vicksburg. From there go northwest on SR 72 to Bouse, then take the Swansea Road north, pass Midway and head into the ghost town of Swansea. On the east and south sides of Swansea Wilderness you'll find dirt power line and pipeline maintenance roads. Bring high clearance with 4WD and you'll get to the wilderness boundary easily, unless it's raining.
USGS Maps: 7.5 minute: Planet, Swansea, Castaneda Hills SW, Centennial Wash
Along the Swansea Road
Swansea Wilderness area map
Swansea Wilderness area