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Otay Mountain Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Otay Mountain Wilderness (map) in 1999 and it now has a total of 16,893 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


The Otay Mountain Wilderness is located near the U.S.-Mexico border in eastern San Diego County. The mountain represents a unique ecosystem, home to twenty sensitive plant and animal species, including the endangered quino checkerspot butterfly, the only known stand of Tecate cypress, as well as the only known population of the Mexican flannel bush. The area was recommended by the Bureau of Land Management for Wilderness designation more than ten years before it was designated.

Because of its proximity to the international border with Mexico, however, the Border Patrol continue to work in the Wilderness constructing and patrolling a section of the Border Wall.

Planning to Visit the Otay Mountain 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 Otay Mountain 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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