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Argus Range Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws


The United States Congress designated the Argus Range Wilderness (map) in 1994 and it now has a total of 65,726 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Argus Range Wilderness is bordered by the Death Valley Wilderness to the east.


Nestling against the Argus Range, a thin and narrow north-south mountain chain, this Wilderness stretches for 28 miles along the west side of the Panamint Valley, just south and west of Death Valley National Park and just east of the China Lake Naval Weapons Center. (If the Navy decides to install a space-energy laser facility within 15 years after Wilderness designation, a road may be built across the area.) Elevations here vary from about 2,800 feet on the east side to more than 7,500 feet on the west. The Argus Range is comprised of dry desert mountains with steep slopes and highly dissected canyons. Remains of old mining activity and a few prehistoric sites are scattered throughout the Wilderness. You may find several springs supporting a small population of desert bighorn sheep. Vegetation includes creosote scrub communities on the lower slopes, occasional piƱon-juniper communities at higher elevations, and virtually nothing on the steep slopes and canyon walls.

Trails are not maintained here, but you should find some relatively easy hiking up several canyons that open on the east side.

Planning to Visit the Argus Range Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Argus Range Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.