The United States Congress designated the Gibraltar Mountain Wilderness (map
) in 1990 and it now has a total of 18,790 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Arizona
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
On the western edge of the Buckskin Mountains where they flatten toward the lower Colorado River, Gibralter Mountain rises only 1,568 feet above sea level, a raggedy mass of volcanic rock cut by many deep, sandy washes and rocky canyons. Among the eroded volcanic tuff beds you'll find numerous fascinating alcoves and caves, and along the heights are rewarding vistas in all directions. Every year several hundred people come on foot and on horseback to see the sights and to photograph the colorful panoramas dotted with creosote bush, cholla, barrel cactus, and paloverde. Patient and observant wildlife watchers catch glimpses of desert bighorn sheep. A few rock climbers have discovered this area. The winding washes make fine pathways of travel. While some see it only as a barren land, others have found Gibralter Mountain a serene and beautiful desert refuge. Temperatures range from lows near 25 degrees F. in the months of December and January to highs that may exceed 115 degrees F. from July through September. Carry plenty of water, as this area only receives 2 to 8 inches of rainfall per year. Elevations within the Wilderness boundaries range from 560 to 2,100 feet.