Best Of Tucson®

Best Place to Find Unexploded Ordnance

Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge

STAFF PICK: Few are the places left so desolate as the southeast corner of Arizona (and no, we're not talking about the nightlife in Yuma). A good place to start is in the BLM land south of Ajo, where you'll find a cemetery and lots of places to lose yourself. To go any further into the National Wildlife Refuge, you'll need to get not only a wilderness permit but also sign a "Holds Harmless" agreement with the military. Then you work your way back into 860,010 acres of nothingness. There's no potable water and only two roads, the Camino del Diablo to the south (4WD only) and the Charlie Bell Pass Road heading east out of Ajo, which dead-ends at the pass. The refuge, established in 1939, is home to a few bighorn sheep and little else, although if you've a mind to backpack you'll find plenty of evidence of human endeavor in the abandoned homestead sites and well-worn south-to-north immigrant trails. With Mexico on the south and the Barry Goldwater Gunnery Range on the north, this is a good place to think about life, death and where your next drink is coming from.