The United States Congress designated the Jacumba Wilderness (map
) in 1994 and it now has a total of 31,358 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
On the eastern flank of California's coastal peninsular ranges, the Jacumba Mountains often appear as a fantastic jumble of granitic rock pushed up by faults in long-gone days. The mountains extend into Mexico, and the southern boundary of the Wilderness is the international border. A broad range, the Jacumbas are really a series of almost parallel ridges separating valleys, with each ridge successively lower than the next, forming a great staircase descending eastward into the Colorado Desert.
Four transitional zones lie within the Wilderness. The western portion, the region near Smugglers Cave, provides homes for mule deer, rare peninsular bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and kangaroo rats. The Myers Valley-Pinto Canyon portion contains small oases of California fan palms. A mountainous ridge separates Myers from Davies Valley, the largest valley in the Wilderness, near the middle of the area, with large stretches of surface cobbles covering the ground. The eastern mountains enclose Skull Valley, a secluded basin with a dry lake.
An eight-mile-long trail, often faint, follows Davies Valley with two opportunities to loop back to the start. Bring a map.