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Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws


The United States Congress designated the Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness (map) in 1994 and it now has a total of 99,548 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


Just southeast of Joshua Tree National Park, the Chuckwalla Mountains rise like an island in a sea of sand and stone, a fascinating rock fortress of seemingly endless landforms, geologic textures, and delightful colors. Steep-walled canyons, broad valleys, washes of all sizes, solitary rock outcroppings, and vast expanses of desert combine to create a constantly changing panorama for the traveler. The wildlife and plantlife are as diverse as the topography, characteristic of both the Mojave and Colorado desertlands. Bighorn sheep, deer, wild burros, birds of prey, snakes, foxes, and coyotes make the area their home, and the bajada region in the southwest corner of the Wilderness provides a crucial habitat for the desert tortoise. Ocotillo, cholla, yucca, creosote, barrel cactus, and foxtail cactus cover the landscape in a gardenlike array.

This is an excellent area for camping, ridge scrambling, peak bagging, and wash exploring in a desert Wilderness. If it's solitude you crave, the chances are great you'll be alone here.

Planning to Visit the Chuckwalla Mountains 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 Chuckwalla Mountains 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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