Library image #4092
: Numerous canyons give way to gentle sloping bajadas as it drains east to the Colorado River.
The United States Congress designated the Ireteba Peaks Wilderness (map
) in 2002 and it now has a total of 39,631 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Nevada
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
Whether you are looking for a new area to explore or a chance to seek a refuge for the day, Ireteba Peaks Wilderness is a place to reconnect with the land. Named after Ireteba, a Mohave tribal leader who guided Lieutenant J.C. Ives on his expedition up the Colorado River, this wilderness is 50 miles south of Las Vegas. The Ireteba Wilderness contains the southern portion of the Eldorado Mountains as well as the Opal Mountains.
Co-managed by the BLM and NPS, it is filled with eye-catching colorful landscapes, scenic vistas, secluded valleys, and flat alluvial fans. You will find plenty of opportunities for silence and seclusion in this backcountry destination. Few visitors and the need for route finding skills provide solitude and chances to hike, horseback ride, hunt, explore, and camp under the stars in a very isolated area.
Running parallel with the shoreline of Lake Mohave, the wilderness contains varied terrain as well as an exposed ridge composed of volcanic rock. The south and east portions of this wilderness contain jumbled granite outcrops. Opal Mountain appears to have a thick basalt cap, which indicates a large amount of erosion that exposed this mountain.
FLORA AND FAUNA
With elevations reaching 5,060 feet, creosote bush, white bursage, patches of brittlebrush, and Mojave yucca spread across the desert floor. On the rocky hillsides look for barrel, prickly pear, and Teddy bear cactus as well as Mormon tea.
With a keen eye you may spot desert bighorn sheep, jackrabbits, or a side-blotched lizard. The threatened desert tortoise and Townsend’s western big-eared bats are just some of the unique species surviving in the Mojave Desert. Watch for black-throated sparrows and you may spot red-tailed hawks circling overhead.