Library Fact Sheets
BMGR VISITING THE RANGE-MASTER|
Printable Fact Sheet
Without exception, entrance to the Goldwater Range and the Cabeza Prieta is by permit only. When on the Goldwater Range, you must be prepared to present your entry permit upon request to personnel from the Air Force, Marine Corps or Bureau of Land Management. You must also keep the entry permit on the dashboard of your vehicle at all times. Persons without valid permits may be fined and barred from future entry. Download a permit application here. You must read and INITIAL each of the warnings on the hold harmless agreement. Fill out the bottom of the hold harmless agreement. Upon completion, you must bring the application in person to one of the addresses listed below and view the Visitor Safety and Responsibility video to obtain the permit.
There are three distinct administrative sections on the Goldwater Range:
1) Eastern Segment - Sauceda Mountains Recreational Use (Area B) (map is too large to print; an updated map will be issued when you are issued your permit)
2) Western Segment (west of Mohawk Mtns; map is too large to print; an updated map will be issued when you are issued your permit)
3) Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge
The Air Force is the military administrator of the Eastern segment of the Goldwater Range and is responsible for scheduling military use and controlling public access in the Eastern segment. To obtain a permit, contact:
56th Fighter Wing Range Management Office
7101 Jerstad Lane, Luke AFB, AZ 85309
Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field, AZ 85337
The Marine Corps is the principal manager of the Western segment and controls the public access permit system there.
To obtain a permit, contact:
Range Management Dept, P.O. Box 99134, MCAS-Yuma, AZ 85369
(928) 269-7150 or Main Gate MCAS Yuma, South Ave 3E.
The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Although there is military use of the overlying airspace, the primary management purpose for the refuge is the protection of wildlife and the Sonoran Desert ecosystem. To obtain a permit, contact: Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, 1611 North Second Avenue, Ajo, AZ 85321 (520) 387-6483.
You can also obtain a permit from: Bureau of Land Management, Phoenix Field Office, 21605 N. 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ (623)580-5500 or BLM, 1 North Central, Suite 800, Phoenix AZ 85004, 602-417-9300
Gila Bend AFAF is located three miles south of the town of Gila Bend, Arizona. When you arrive at the Gila Bend AFAF Main Gate, you will be signed in as a guest and directed to the Range Operations Control Center.
Picking Up the Entry Permit
Entry permits for the Eastern and Western segments can be picked up at the locations listed above or between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field. The permit must be visibly placed on the dashboard of your vehicle at all times while you are on the Goldwater Range. Keep a second copy with you. Locked gates control Goldwater Range entry at some points. If your travel plans require it, you will be given the current gate combination when the permit is issued. Lock the gates behind you and do not share the combination with others not in your party.
Keep a copy of your permit on your vehicle dashboard while visiting the range, and keep a copy in in your possession as well. The permit may be requested if you are inspected by the Arizona Fish and Game Department, Bureau of Land Management, military police, or other law enforcement personnel.
The "Release and Hold Harmless Agreement" form is used to document the acknowledgement of recreational visitors to possible dangers on the range. The form is also used for emergency notification, return of lost property, or to track user demographic data. This form is kept on file for 12 months.
Checking Out of the Goldwater Range
After completing your trip, you must notify, by phone or in person, the appropriate agency that you are clear of the Goldwater Range. This is required so that visitor safety can be insured and military training can continue as scheduled. Failure to check out may also result in suspension of future Goldwater Range visitation privileges.
Rules of Conduct
Please observe "minimal impact" camping during your visit to ensure protection of the natural resources on the range.When you break camp, remove all traces of human visitation and smooth out your tire tracks. Bring a garden rake for this purpose.
Visitors' use of four-wheel drive and other types of all-terrain vehicles have multiplied the number of roads and two-track trails on the Goldwater Range. The desert soils are so sensitive that a single vehicle driving off the road can create a track that will last for decades. Other visitors may follow those tracks, resulting in an uncontrolled proliferation of new tracks. A great deal of damage to the fragile desert has occurred in this manner as vehicles have been used for cross-country and sport driving. Roads that are never maintained and appear to have been rarely or never traveled in recent years are not to be followed. These are abandoned tracks that are being allowed to revegetate. Any area of the Goldwater Range for which you do not have an entry permit is off limits. Visitation to military targets, target areas, battlefield simulations, buildings, towers, and transmitters is also prohibited.
Enjoy Your Visit
Many of the established roads on the Goldwater Range are in rough condition. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended, however, off-road vehicles are prohibited and all vehicles and drivers must be licensed for highway driving.
There are literally thousands of square miles of undisturbed wilderness. Please help us to maintain it that way by driving ONLY on established roads, and removing all your belongings and refuse.
Point of Contact
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs