LKofa National Wildlife Refuge
Western Arizona


The tortured landscape of this mountain range rises abruptly from the desert floor in a series of sheer cliff faces, towering rock spires and deep cut canyons.
The observing site is located within the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, a 664,300 acre preserve established in 1939 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Its unique bio-habitat is home to the only native palm trees found in Arizona as well as a thriving population of nearly 800 bighorn sheep. Many notable mines
were established in this area in the early 1900’s, the most famous being the “King of Arizona Mine”. The name of the mountain range and the wildlife
refuge, Kofa, is a contracted version of “King of Arizona”.



Signed entry into the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Because it is a federally mandated and regulated region, numerous public use regulations
are in effect for visitors. Off-road vehicle traffic is prohibited and camping is restricted to 14 days at any site. A Public Regulations brochure listing
the "Do's and Don’ts" is available at most unmanned entry stations like the one shown above. Penalties for violations are quite stiff.


Arizona is known for its gorgeous sunsets. This particular one was captured with my Canon 5D and a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS AF zoom
lens on October 13, 2007. Illumination of the foreground was accomplished with a Canon Speedlite 580EX flash.
The Moon is but a thin sliver in the above image at a mere 7.49% phase.


After nightfall all sorts of creatures emerge from their underground dens. This tarantula was found passing near my campsite about an hour after dark.
In the desert it's always a good idea to carry a flashlight with you when walking around at night so as to avoid stepping on the critters.