Mt. Wrightson picnic area - Madera Canyon AZ
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was very active in the Coronado National Forest during the 1930s. Coronado National Forest is discontinuous across southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico because the forested areas occur only on isolated mountain ranges called “Sky Islands” – a type of landscape similar to the Basin and Range in Nevada.
CCC camp F-30 was located in Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains (we are not sure exactly where or for how long). The CCC ‘boys’ (enrollees) did extensive work in the canyon, including a campground, picnic area, amphitheater, trails and erosion works.
The largest CCC project in the canyon is clearly the Mt. Wrightson picnic area, located at the end of Madera Canyon road at an ~4,500 foot elevation. At the loop, there is a two-level parking area (probably expanded since the 1930s) and an information kiosk that appears to be new. The picnic areas begin there and continue up the hillside into the oak woodlands of the canyon, following a series of paths and stairways. Each of the picnic sites has a table, stove and (usually) a retain wall to level the site. Overall, the Mt. Wrightson picnic area is very large and well-preserved.
"The New Deal in Arizona: Connections to Our Historic Landscape," University of Arizona, The New Deal in Arizona Chapter of the National New Deal Preservation Association.
Robert Audrestsch and Sharon Hunt, 2014. The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arizona. Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 22-24.
Project originally submitted by Richard A Walker on November 17, 2019.
Additional contributions by Joan Greer.
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