Nearly half of the state of Arizona is open to the public, making Arizona an outdoors lover’s paradise. Arizona offers top hunting for classic Western big game species (elk, mule deer, sheep) and offers some surprisingly good fishing as well – including opportunities for Apache Trout, the state fish.

Woolsey Park Wilderness

•Covers 64,000 acres

•Located 32 miles southwest of Phoenix

•Excellent habitat for desert bighorn sheep and mule deer

Kaibab National Forest

•1.6 million acres

•Borders north and south rims of the Grand Canyon

•More than 300 miles of trails

Tonto National Forest

•3 million acres

•The fifth-most visited national forest in the United States with some 5.8 million annual visitors

•Contains eight wilderness areas that cover nearly 600,000 acres

Santa Teresa Wilderness

•26,780 acres

•One of the most remote, pristine areas in Arizona

•Difficulty of access and terrain provides unique hunting opportunities for black bears, mountain lions and mule deer.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

•2 million acres

•Borders the famed Gila National Forest in New Mexico

•Known for elk and mule deer hunting

Coconino National Forest

•Nearly 1.9 million acres

•Offers diversity in hunting and fishing

•Substantial wilderness areas in elk hunting units offer opportunities for mature bulls

More links

Recreational Access Arizona

•Mapping tool provided by Arizona Game and Fish Department which provides information about private lands that allow access as well as state-owned easements through private land to access public areas.

Public Draw Hunts

NM Best Fishing Streams

Find more public land access opportunities with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Hunt Planner.

Photo: Weavers Needle in Tonto National Forest

Photo credit: flickr