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Bristol Mountains Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning
Photograph taken in  the Bristol Mountains Wilderness


The United States Congress designated the Bristol Mountains Wilderness (map) in 1994 and it now has a total of 71,389 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The Bristol Mountains Wilderness is bordered by the Mojave Wilderness to the east and the Kelso Dunes Wilderness to the north.


The Bristol Mountains Wilderness contains the tilted and bisected old volcanic plain called Old Dad Mountains and the northern portion of the Bristol Mountains which climb as high as 3,874 feet. The broad Budweiser Wash drains into the eastern portion of the wilderness. The vegetation type is predominantly creosote bush desert scrub and desert wash scrub. Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards. The Bristol Mountains also provide habitat for migrating desert bighorn sheep.

Planning to Visit the Bristol 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 Bristol 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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