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It's a hoot!
The Owl Creek Campground is one of two developed campgrounds in the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area. Owl Creek is located at the far eastern boundary of the RNCA along the Black Hills National Back Country Byway where it crosses the Gila River. The seven sites each feature a fire ring, BBQ grill, picnic table, and small ramada to provide relief from the hot desert sun.
A short trail has been built that leads from the campground down to the Gila River bridge, river put-in, and day-use picnic areas.
Starting between the self-pay station and the restroom, the trail is easy to find and leads across the desert and down a little drainage toward the river. At the time of this writing, the trail was well maintained, raked/swept by hand, and lined with rocks on both sides. I'm guessing this was a seasonal camp host project, but I don't know.
It's about a quarter-mile down to the historic Old Safford Bridge (officially the Jose M. Subia Memorial Bridge) crossing the river, and you'll pass through a lovely chain-link gate before reaching the road. Depending on the river's water flow, you may wade across the Gila under the bridge to visit the two day-use picnic areas on each bank, or you can admire the 1918 construction and cross the bridge on foot. Keep an eye out for vehicles. (Though the speed limit is 15-mph, somebody might drive by a bit faster!)
After enjoying the shade and water, head back up to camp. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes!
Check out the Official Route and Triplog.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.