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Coyote Mountains Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning Images
A large gray sandstone mound, rising from the barren gray desert, surrounded by low mountains along the horizon.
Library image #369: View of sandstone rock formation


The United States Congress designated the Coyote Mountains Wilderness (map) in 1994 and it now has a total of 18,631 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


The fishhook-shaped Coyote Mountains cover about 40 percent of this austere Wilderness, a desertland of low ridges and washes capped by the forbidding Carrizo Badlands to the north. Carrizo Mountain (734 feet) and the striking Painted Gorge lie in a non-Wilderness intrusion that punches in from the eastern boundary.

The entire area falls within the Yuha Desert Recreation Area, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park lies immediately to the north. You'll find unusual sandstone formations that are estimated to be six million years old, adding a touch of scenic character to the area. On the mountain ridges, you may be privileged to see a barefoot gecko.

What you won't see are any trails in this hot, dry country, though an old track leads up Painted Gorge to the edge of the Wilderness.

Planning to Visit the Coyote 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 Coyote 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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