The United States Congress designated the Warm Springs Wilderness (map
) in 1990 and it now has a total of 112,400 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Arizona
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Dominating this immense, pristine desert landscape near the California border is Black Mesa, 10 miles long and 1,000 feet above the surrounding desert, with edges dissected into a maze of winding canyons. Remnants of ancient mesas and isolated hills jut upwards like islands in the sea of vast encircling desert plain. After wet winters, spring brings a profusion of blooms on ocotillos, cacti, and flowering shrubs and annuals. The summer climate in this wilderness unit is harsh. Daytime temperatures during the summer months are over 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October 1 and April 30th.
A historic old trail from Baker Spring and numerous feral burro and bighorn sheep tracks provide access to the Wilderness, though no formal hiking trails exist in this unit. Warm Springs and other water sources allow for an extended (if carefully planned) backpacking or horsepacking trip. Map and compass skills are a necessity.