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Arrow Canyon Wilderness

General Location Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning Images
A hiker hikes down Arrow Canyon, a thin canyon with steep rock walls.
Library image #4077: Hiking in the wilderness' namesake, Arrow Canyon.

Introduction

The United States Congress designated the Arrow Canyon Wilderness (map) in 2002 and it now has a total of 27,502 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Nevada and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Description

Arrow Canyon Wilderness is an intriguing landscape with distinct and eye-catching landforms, including Arrow Canyon Range, one of the most scenic ranges in southern Nevada. The western face of the range is a spectacular cliff marked with dramatic bands of quartzite and limestone arching across its length. The central portion of this area contains a wide valley cut by numerous washes, providing endless panoramas. The northeast section showcases spectacular Arrow Canyon, which is several miles long and confined by sheer canyon walls that are so tall and close together that sunlight rarely reaches the bottom. Pahranagat Wash runs along the northern edge of this wilderness and flows through Arrow Canyon. The wilderness also includes Table Mountain, a small mesa top on the east side of Pahranagat Wash, which is adjacent to, but separate from, the rest of the wilderness.

Silence along the rugged ridges and peaks of this intriguing backcountry destination will become more and more apparent the deeper into the wilderness you venture. Infrequent visitor use and the need for route finding skills provide great opportunities for solitude and recreation including hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, hunting, exploring, and camping under the night sky.

GEOLOGY

The Arrow Canyon Range is comprised of a fault scarp that rises approximately 2,800 feet off the valley floor. Composed of limestone, the mountain range showcases a striking dark carbon layer that runs along the western cliff face. Fossils such as crinoids, brachiopods, corals, and other sea life, are found in the gray limestone.

FLORA AND FAUNA

Arrow Canyon Wilderness is a Mojave Desert scrub environment that includes creosote bush, white bursage, Mojave yucca, and barrel cactus dispersed across the landscape. Blackbrush and Joshua Trees can be found at higher elevations. Honey mesquite, catclaw acacia, and desert willow are scattered through the washes.

With a watchful eye you may spot desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, kit foxes, ring tail cats, bobcats, kangaroo rats, deer mice, side-blotched lizards, banded geckos, and the slow moving desert tortoise. Golden eagles, great-horned owls, black-tailed gnatcatchers, loggerhead shrike, and Say's phoebes can be found throughout the washes, mountain sides and ridges or in the sky. Beware of rattlesnakes among the rocks and in shaded areas.

Planning to Visit the Arrow Canyon 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 Arrow Canyon 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.



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