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Rugged mountain vistas and pristine desert landscapes characterize the Sonoran Desert surrounding Florence.  Numerous outdoor recreation areas are a short drive from downtown Florence.

Off  Highway Vehicle Recreation

Coke OvensPublic lands north and east of Florence are extremely popular with ATV riders and four wheel drive enthusiasts. Travel north on State Route 79 from Florence and turn east (right) on Price Road just north of the river to access the Gila River and Box Canyon. Cottonwood Canyon Road, located 11 miles north of Florence on State Route 79, is another popular recreation area.  Desert Wells Multiuse Area extends north and west of Florence, bounded by State Route 79 to the east and U.S. 60 to the north.

A State Land Department Recreation Permit is required for most of these areas. High clearance and/or four wheel drive vehicles are recommended.


The Tortilla Mountain Passage, White Canyon Passage and Alamo Canyon Passage (Passages 15-17) of the Arizona Trail traverse the area east of Florence. A portion of the White Canyon Passage has not been completed and the Tonto National Forest plans to re-route portions of the Alamo Canyon Passage. Please check with the Arizona Trail Association for the most current status of the trail.

The Superstition Wilderness Area in the Tonto National Forest contains approximately 160,200 acres with a developed trail system. The wilderness area is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Florence. The White Canyon Wilderness Area, located within an hour drive from Florence, includes many types of botanical, wildlife, and cultural resources.

Scenic Drives

Pinal Pioneer Parkway
The Pinal Pioneer Parkway (State Route 79) was designated as a scenic desert preserve by the Arizona Department of Transportation in 1961. There are several places to stop and enjoy virtually every species of Arizona desert flora.

The Florence-Kelvin Highway is a 32 mile road that begins two miles south of Florence on State Route 79 and extends east to Kelvin/Riverside along State Route 177. The first 10 miles of highway are paved then turns to a graded gravel road for the remainder of the route which offers incredible views of the Sonoran Desert. The Florence-Kelvin Highway is easily traversed by car, but high clearance vehicles are recommended for many of the roads that intersect the highway.

Safety Tips

  • Always carry plenty of water
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return
  • Dress properly - layer clothing, wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen

Flash floods:

  • Be alert for thunderstorms in your vicinity
  • Avoid canyons or dry washes during threatening weather
  • Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas