The United States Congress designated the Aubrey Peak Wilderness (map
) in 1990 and it now has a total of 15,400 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Arizona
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
A large cliff-encircled mesa, Aubrey Peak dominates the middle of the eastern half of this Wilderness. It is a land of stark geologic formations eroded by wind and water into brightly colored volcanic sculptures, a world of natural windows, tufa caves, spires, slickrock terraces, and tinajas (deep, water-filled pockets). You'll find numerous other mesas, buttes, volcanic plugs, and serpentine canyons. The Wilderness is set in a transition zone between the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Stands of imposing saguaro, paloverde, ironwood, and smoke trees, typical of the Sonoran Desert, merge with Joshua trees and other species found in the Mojave to create a patchwork quilt of vegetation. Available water makes this area a desert bird-watcher's paradise. Keep your eyes peeled for verdins, crissal thrashers, black-throated sparrows, Abert's towhees, and black-tailed gnatcatchers, to name but a few. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a herd of desert bighorn sheep. Discovered here recently, this species is unusual for this region.
There are no established trails, but the hiking is easy. Just follow the washes and orient yourself using the distinctive rock formations. Occasional old jeep roads lead to some long-abandoned mines.