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<November 2015>

UPDATE: As of September 27, 2011, the Parks Department's consultant, EPG, is in the process of formatting the Preferred Alternative and authoring the Draft Master Plan. A date in late October will be scheduled with stakeholders to review these items.

Additional Information: Please check back here in late October for the draft master plan. Once posted, members of the public will be provided with a timeframe for review and comments.

Press Release: June 2, 2011

Maricopa County Supervisor Wilson Seeks Feedback From Public

(Wickenburg) – Do you enjoy hiking or riding in the Vulture Mountain area? Then the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department and Bureau of Land Management want to hear from you! “The agencies have been working together to develop a Recreation Management Plan for the Vulture Mountains. This plan will allow both agencies to cooperatively manage the area while improving recreational opportunities and facilities,” stated Maricopa County Supervisor Max Wilson, District 4. Click here to read more...

NEW: Please keep in mind that a concept or master plan is used for the long-term development and management of a park or area.  Typically, the larger the area planned, the longer it will take to fully implement the plan.  Plans of this magnitude usually require 20-years or more to be fully implement and are done incrementally as funding is available and public demand increases.


Click on the map thumbnail for a larger copy.

No Action
Alternative A Map

Alternative A provides a basis for comparison to the other alternatives. The No-Action Alternative reflects existing conditions that are expected to continue if the Vulture Mountains Regional Park and Recreation Area Master Plan is not adopted. It only includes facilities and land uses that occur presently in the Vulture Mountains Recreation Area. If the No-Action Alternative is selected then the area will stay as is and there will be no Maricopa County Parks recreation facilities in the Vulture area.

Alternatives B, C, & D will show progressively increasing levels of improvements and oversight by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department and the Bureau of Land Management.

Passive Use / Minimal Improvements
Alternative B Map

This Alternative includes core programs to meet the objectives of a Maricopa County Park and provide minimal levels of recreation opportunities that might be found in their regional parks. For this alternative, opportunities in addition to what now occur in the No Action Alternative, include additional non-motorized trails, equestrian facilities, semi-developed camp sites (no water or electric) and group camping.

Mixed Use/Moderate Improvements
Alternative C Map
Alternative C builds on Alternative B by adding facilities that will benefit users seeking more varied recreation opportunities or services of both passive and active recreation types. These include non-motorized competitive tracks, day-use facilities, developed camp sites (with water and electric), concessionaire managed active recreation (archery range, paint ball course, zip line, etc.), interpretive development of historical sites, geocaching, and rockhounding.

Active Use/Most Improved

Alternative D Map

Alternative D continues to build on the previous Alternatives by retaining nearly all of Alternative B and Alternative C activities and adds additional active recreation uses to the proposed regional park. These include more intensive OHV uses (rock crawling), additional interpretive facilities (garden or amphitheater), developed area for organized events (mineral show, club gatherings, etc.). Due to a more intensive use of the area and increased human presence, hunting would be limited to designated areas similar to other Maricopa County Parks.


























Facility Example Photos (click here)

*Photos contained within this document are strictly examples of facilities found within the County's park system and on BLM properties.

Draft Phasing Plan (click here)*

*These are conceptual plans and subject to adjustments based on site specific design and funding. This draft does not go into detail of the exact items to be in each area such as gates, surfacing, number of picnic tables, ramadas, etc. This is to provide an overview only; details will be elaborated in the draft Vulture Master Plan and future site specific plans.

BLM Information:

Conservation Alternative Map Conservation Alternative
Preferred Alternative Map Agency Preferred Alternative
Use Alternative Map Use Alternative

*The Bureau of Land Management's approved routes to be used as a reference when looking at facility locations.





Please direct questions and comments to:
Jennifer Waller, Westside Superintendent
(602) 506-2930

Vulture Mountain Resources



Meeting Notes


About Vulture Mountain

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to initiate a formal working relationship and establish a general framework of cooperation upon which a Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) for the Vulture Mountain Cooperative Recreation Management Area (Vulture Mtn.-CRMA) will be developed to determine the recreational uses and needs of the area; and to identify the management actions required to reach the desired outcomes of the Parties, the public, and surrounding communities. The RAMP will include the design of a recreation fee program addressing the criteria required in the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) to establish standard and expanded amenity fees on public lands. After approval of the RAMP and completion of the environmental analysis, a separate agreement will be executed to establish the framework for plan implementation. Specific objectives of the RAMP include:

  • Establish an appropriate managerial and physical framework for the
    collaborative management of recreation use in the Vulture Mtn.-CRMA.
  • To retain the open space characteristics of the area, remaining available
    for public enjoyment in current and future generations, while ensuring the
    Vulture Mtn.-CRMA is retained in Federal ownership and including
    County's identified Recreation and Public Purposes Act (R&PP) areas.
  • Produce sustainable beneficial outcomes from public recreation
    opportunities consistent with plan decisions and the desired future
    condition identified in land use plans.
  • Provide for the protection of natural, cultural, historical, and wildlife resources and the sustainability of traditional uses in the Vulture Mtn-CRMA.
  • Provide for public safety and mitigate or eliminate hazards as identified.
    Strive to reduce visitor use conflicts and avoid conflicts between the
    recreational and traditional uses.
  • Promote collaborative management and community-based planning.
  • Combine and utilize to the greatest extent possible, the knowledge, skills,
    and resources available from the Parties.

Wickenburg Community Master Trail Plan

The Wickenburg Community Master Trail Plan will propose designated non-motorized and motorized trail systems for the heavily used public land northeast of Wickenburg and including local and regional linkages. The plan will also identify problems and issues to protecting/creating these trail systems and access to them, and will state strategies for success. The plan will include an environmental assessment (EA).  Currently BLM and the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department are planning a cooperative recreation management area in the Vulture Peak region southwest of town. The planning for the Vulture area will include trails and travel management.

Plan Scope:

  • Implement a system of roads and trails per 43 CFR 8342.1
  • Identify recreational management strategies for the area
  • Identify facilities needed in the area to manage use
  • Create a plan for funding, implementation and management
  • Area Uses:
  • OHV driving / riding
  • Hiking / Horseback Riding
  • Access to private / state land
  • Camping / day use
  • Wildlife viewing / birding / siteseeing
  • Mining / Ranching
  • Hunting
  • Energy transmission
  • Special recreation permits
  • Rock hounding, geocaching, paintball



General Park Hours
Sun-Thu: 6am-8pm
Fri-Sat: 6am-10pm
- 365 days a year 

Headquarters Admin Hours
Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm
except holidays 

Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Dept.
The Headquarter Administrative Offices are located at:
41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd.
Unit Operations Center

Morristown, AZ 85342
Ph: 602-506-2930 or (928) 501-9200
Fax: (602)372-8596

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