skip to the content of this page Arizona's Official Website Arizona Department of Water Resources
Arizona Department of Water Resources Arizona's Official Web Site
Securing Arizona's Water Future
Geographic Features of the Safford Basin

The Safford Basin is the largest basin in the planning area at 4,747 square miles.  Geographic features and principal communities are shown on Figure 3.10-1.  The basin is characterized by valleys, high-elevation mountain ranges and a variety of vegetation types including: Arizona uplands Sonoran and Chihuahuan desertscrub, semi-desert grassland, interior chaparral, Rocky Mountain and montane conifer forest, Great Basin conifer woodland, madrean evergreen woodland and a small portion of Rocky Mountain subalpine forest atop Mt. Graham. (see Figure 3.0-9). Riparian vegetation includes: mesquite and tamarisk on the Gila River; conifer oak, mixed broadleaf and mesquite on Ash Creek; conifer oak and mesquite on Frye Canyon; and conifer oak and mixed broadleaf on Deadman Canyon and Cave Creek and its tributaries.

Principal geographic features shown on Figure 3.10-1 are:

  • Gila River running northwest from Greenlee County to the San Carlos Reservoir

  • San Simon Creek running through the San Simon Valley south of Safford

  • Gila Mountains northeast of Pima, Dos Cabezas Mountains on the southeastern basin boundary and Chiricahua Mountains along the southeastern and southern basin boundary

  • Pinaleño Mountains west of Swift Trail Junction, which include the highest point in the basin and planning area, Mt. Graham at 10,712 feet

  • The lowest point at approximately 2,500 feet where the Gila River exits the basin

 Click to view Figure 3.10-1

Click to view Figure 3.10-1 Safford Basin

Geographic Features



Arizona Water Atlas Home

Southeastern Arizona Planning Area Home

Download pdf of entire Southeastern Arizona Planning Area Download pdf of the Safford Basin References and Supplemental Reading for the Safford Basin
Colorado River Southeastern Arizona Planning Area

Download Southeastern Arizona Planning Area Atlas

Farming in Safford Lake on San Carlos Reservation