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UPPER HOSPITAL FLAT GROUP SITE, AZ

part ofCoronado National Forest, US Forest Service
Photo: UPPER HOSPITAL FLAT GROUP SITE
Status: Open through Fri Nov 14 2014   Season Dates
 

Overview

Upper Hospital Flat is a great place for groups to escape the summer heat of surrounding deserts and retreat to a scenic meadow in the Pinaleño Mountains of southeastern Arizona. The area is known for camping, scenic driving, picnicking, birding, wildlife viewing, hiking, mountain biking and history.

In the 1880s, the campground served as the site for a field hospital for ailing soldiers from nearby Fort Grant, hence its name. The restorative powers of this cool, high-elevation location also attracted officers and their families seeking a summer refuge from desert heat. Today, Hospital Flat serves as popular getaway for outdoor enthusiasts and campers.

Natural Features:

The campground sits along Big Creek in a mixed conifer forest, adjacent to a meadow that comes to life with wildflower blooms in late summer. The 9,000-ft. elevation offers pleasant summer temperatures.

The Coronado National Forest covers 1.78 million acres of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Elevations range from 3,000 to 10,720 feet in 12 widely scattered mountain ranges, or "sky islands," that rise dramatically from the desert floor, supporting biologically diverse plant communities.

Recreation:

The scenic and relaxing setting is inviting for an afternoon picnic, as well as bird and wildlife watching. A .75-mile nature trail gives interpretive information about the meadow and its plant and animal inhabitants.

The campground lies along the Swift Trail scenic drive, which takes visitors from the Sonoran Desert to alpine meadows and forests on the Pinaleño Range. Several points of interest offer excellent side trips, including Heliograph Peak.

The road also provides access to a number of hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking trails, a mountain lake stocked with trout and several campgrounds.

Facilities:

Hospital Flat offers one reservable group site for up to 50 people and several first-come, first-served individual sites. The facility is equipped with a picnic table, parking area and campfire ring with a grill. A vault toilet restroom is located just across the street from the group area, at the main Hospital Flat campground.

The road leading into the group site is mainly suitable for higher-clearance vehicles.

Nearby Attractions:

The Mount Graham Wilderness Study Area, which includes the 10,720-foot Mount Graham and several trails, is close by.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Campfire Rings
  • Group Camping
  • Hiking
  • Interpretive Trails
  • Parking Area
  • Picnic Area
  • Scenic Drive
  • Star Gazing
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Vault Toilets
Within 10 Miles
  • Fishing
  • Lake Access
Know Before You Go
  • No drinking water provided; visitors must bring their own
  • No hookups available
  • Open season is dependent on weather or fire conditions; call 928-428-4150 for current information
  • Limit of 8 vehicles
  • Total vehicle length must be less than 40 feet.; Highway 366 is steep with a high number of switchbacks and a one-lane curved bridge at Wet Canyon
  • No trash cans available; remove trash from the forest prior to leaving the campsite
  • Check-in is at 2 p.m.; check-out is at noon
  • Be sure your fire is completely extinguished before leaving; do not leave fires unattended
  • Only downed trees and shrubs may be collected as firewood; tree-cutting is prohibited
  • This is a high elevation facility; please use caution when traveling from lower elevations
  • Bears live in the area; make sure all food and trash are secure
  • Click here to learn more about Coronado National Forest
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit don'tmovefirewood.org.
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing pests by obtaining firewood near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit don'tmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
32.66694, -109.87444
32°40'1"N, 109°52'28"W

From Safford, Arizona, take State Route 191 south for 6 miles. Turn right onto State Route 366/Swift Trail and travel 23.3 miles. The group site is on the right.

From Tucson, Arizona, take I-10 east for 90 miles. Take exit 352 for State Route 191, and turn left toward Safford. Drive 26.3 miles north and turn left on State Route 366/Swift Trail. Drive 23.3 miles and the group site is on the right.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

UPPER HOSPITAL FLAT GROUP SITE
711 14th Ave., STE D
Safford AZ 85546

Phone Number:

Project Office:(928)428-4150
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