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Big Maria Mountains Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Big Maria Mountains Wilderness (map) in 1994 and it now has a total of 45,384 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Big Maria Mountains Wilderness is bordered by the Rice Valley Wilderness to the north.


Gently sloping bajadas, or desert slopes, rise to numerous rough and craggy peaks separated by steep canyons in Big Maria Mountains Wilderness. The Big Marias lie just south of a major drainage called Big Wash and just west of the Colorado River and the Arizona border. The northwest boundary follows a power line south, then turns southeast to trace the contours of the base of the mountains. Foxtail cactus and California barrel cactus dot the dry and desolate landscape, and a small herd of deer depend on the waters of the river for survival.

There are no trails, but several unmaintained two-track primitive routes providing foot access into the Wilderness.

Planning to Visit the Big Maria 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 Big Maria 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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