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Pinto Mountains Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws


The United States Congress designated the Pinto Mountains Wilderness (map) in 2009 and it now has a total of 24,348 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Pinto Mountains Wilderness is bordered by the Joshua Tree Wilderness to the south.


The Pinto Mountains Wilderness is located on Bureau of Land Management lands on the Joshua Tree National Park's northern boundary. The rugged Pinto Mountains rise sharply up from the northern edge of the Pinto Basin, a gigantic alluvial plain in the park. Roughly half of the Pinto range is inside the park and is managed as the Joshua Tree Wilderness.

The Pinto Mountains Wilderness hosts a variety of rare and fascinating species, including American badger, Bendire's thrasher, California leaf-nosed bat, desert tortoise, Nelson's bighorn sheep and pallid bat. The Fish and Wildlife Service has identified the area as "Critical Habitat" for the future survival of the desert tortoise.

Portions of the Pinto Mountains have long been worked by miners. However, the Wilderness is comprised of the most rugged and least disturbed portion of the range that lies outside of the park.

Planning to Visit the Pinto 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 Pinto 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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