WORKMAN CREEK IN GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA

Workman Creek is home to a great diversity of animals and plants, including many sensitive species. Riparian (streamside) areas like this are very important habitats for wildlife, providing food, water and shelter.

The biggest attraction is the 200 foot Workman Creek Falls. They offer excellent photography and swimming opportunities.  Bear in mind this area is a true treasure so please leave it better than the way you found it


Workman Creek is located in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness  and thee are many historical and pre-historic sites such as Aztec Peak Lookout.  For more information about the Sierra Ancha Wilderness and all the things to do in this area click here.
 

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

Access Points

From the junction of U.S. Highway 60 & State Hwy. 188 (between Globe and Miami) drive northwest on Hwy. 88 for approximately 15 miles to the junction of State Hwy. 288. Bear right and follow Hwy. 288 for approximately 25 ½ miles to the Workman Creek Bridge. If desired, you may also drive along the creek on FR 487 that turns right (east) just past the bridge. It is approximately 3 miles to Workman Creek Falls (a high-clearance vehicle is needed).

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

History of Workman Creek

The Workman Creek Uranium Mines Site (the Site) is in the Workman Creek watershed in Gila County, between Young and Globe, Arizona. Access to the Site is from SR 288 between mileposts 284 and 285 on Forest Road (FR) 487.

 

Uranium was discovered in the area as early as 1950 when above normal radioactivity was detected. Development was slow due to the spotty nature of the deposits and the inaccessibility of the area. Active mining did not occur until 1954 and in 1955 a uranium orebuying station was built in Globe, which received ore shipments from the Workman Site mines. In general, most of the uranium produced from the area was of lowgrade and was uneconomical to mine. By 1957, ore production from the area mines stopped and the orebuying station was closed.

 

Exploratory work occurred off and on through the 1980’s and included mining, drilling, and sampling to evaluate the remaining uranium reserves. Several mine access roads were built throughout the area. Available information indicates that the Creekside and Cascade Campgrounds may have been used as ore staging areas during active mining.

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

Trails Near Workman Creek

Nearby hikes include the Aztec Peak Lookout. If the tower is open, there are great views of Four Peaks and Roosevelt Lake to the west, the Mogollon Rim to the north, the White Mountains to the east and the Salt River Valley to the south.

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

Workman Creek Fish Species

During Spring and summer, Workman is stocked with rainbow trout by the AZ Game and Fish Department on a regular basis. Towards the end of summer the creek tends to dry out and stocking stops.

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

Workman Creek Fishing Strategy

Small stream tactics are in order for this creek. Stealthy approach and making the first cast into each pool count. General attractor dries with small nymph or midge droppers will get it done on most days.  The best place to fish this creek is hidden pools at higher elevations where the water is cooler and the trout are larger. The access to these areas requires hiking so someone physically fit is recommended to find the daring spots. Flies and salmon eggs are recommended fishing baits.

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

Workman Creek Boating Options

There are limited boating options in workman creek.

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

Workman Creek Camping Options

There are three undeveloped campgrounds along a section of Workman Creek. A 4 wheel drive vehicle is pretty much a must to continue above Workman Falls.

Photo Credit:  Cameron Davis

Workman Creek Swimming Holes

Swimming options are available at the waterfall.