The United States Congress designated the Palo Verde Mountains Wilderness (map
) in 1994 and it now has a total of 39,955 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
In the heart of the relatively jagged Palo Verde Mountains Wilderness, twin buttes called the Flat Tops stand out prominently. The highest point in the area, Palo Verde Peak, rises to about 1,800 feet in the southern portion. Thumb Peak, with its distinctive shape, stands to the north. A unique palm oasis, Clapp Spring, stands not far east of Thumb Peak and is worth a visit. It's the only permanent water source in the area for wildlife species, such as desert bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, and wild burros. Unlike most desert oases that hide in the shade of deep canyon walls, Clapp Spring bubbles up in the middle of an open landscape. Dry washes divide the slopes of the mountains, where you'll find vegetation such as ironwood, mesquite, and, of course, paloverde. In the southeastern part of the Wilderness, you can find saguaro cactuses, plants rarely seen in California.