Library image #280
: Springtime in the desert southwest. Mexican gold poppy (Eschscholtzia mexicana)
The United States Congress designated the Fish Creek Mountains Wilderness (map
) in 1994 and it now has a total of 21,390 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
From the desert floor, the Fish Creek Mountains resemble a plateau rising as a great wall; only a few dramatic peaks appear from a distance. In truth, the mountains are a rugged land of numerous jagged ridges and peaks standing above twisting canyons and small, hidden valleys--a pristine desert mountainland worthy of a Wilderness adventure. Steep slopes often contain limestone outcroppings that have resisted erosion, and, as a result, rainstorms have created narrow chutes that swirl with runoff. Shielded from intense sunlight and its evaporative powers, pools have formed at the base of these chutes, supplying wildlife with precious water. A portion of the shoreline of ancient Lake Cahuilla, a lake that receded more than 500 years ago, remains visible within the Wilderness. Immediately to the south and west lies Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.