Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona was established in 1985 for the reintroduction of masked bobwhite quail and the restoration of natural landscapes and their native wildlife, including the Sonoran Pronghorn. The 118,000-acre refuge lies in a broad Altar Valley between the Baboquivari Mountains, with their prominent main peak in the west, and the lower San Luis Mountains to the east. In the 1850s, Pedro Aguirre, Jr. built a homestead here in 1864 and named it Buenos Ayres, or "good air," because of the constant winds. His ranch changed hands several times before being purchased to form today's wildlife refuge. The refuge's visitor center is located in the adobe ranch house.
The refuge has over 80 designated campsites identified by a numbered sign. Camping is free and allowed for 14 days in a 30-day period, but only in the designated campsites. Most campsites have a fire ring/grill. Site sizes vary from a single vehicle to large enough for multiple RVs and trailers. Most are suitable for tents.
Fuel and limited supplies are available in the nearby small towns of Sasabe and Arivaca.
High Gates Road is the primary camping corridor for the refuge. The wide graded road runs north/south through the center of the refuge, crossing the Arivaca Sasabe Highway. There are large staging areas on both sides of the highway. High Gates is well-traveled and hard-packed. It is one of the few all-weather roads in the refuge.
The approximately 40 campsites along the road vary from small one-vehicle sites to those capable of hosting multiple RVs or trailers. The sites have a fire ring/grill and are mostly flat. Very few have any shade. Views of the mountain ranges to the east and west are incredible.
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