Just southeast of Joshua Tree National Park, the Chuckwalla Mountains rise like an island in a sea of sand and stone, a fascinating rock fortress of seemingly endless landforms, geologic textures, and delightful colors. Steep-walled canyons, broad valleys, washes of all sizes, solitary rock outcroppings, and vast expanses of desert combine to create a constantly changing panorama for the traveler. The wildlife and plantlife are as diverse as the topography, characteristic of both the Mojave and Colorado desertlands. Bighorn sheep, deer, wild burros, birds of prey, snakes, foxes, and coyotes make the area their home, and the bajada region in the southwest corner of the Wilderness provides a crucial habitat for the desert tortoise. Ocotillo, cholla, yucca, creosote, barrel cactus, and foxtail cactus cover the landscape in a gardenlike array.
This is an excellent area for camping, ridge scrambling, peak bagging, and wash exploring in a desert Wilderness. If it's solitude you crave, the chances are great you'll be alone here.
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 Chuckwalla Mountains Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
California Desert Protection Act of 1994 - Public Law 103-433 (10/31/1994) "California Desert Protection Act of 1994" An Act to designate certain lands in the California Desert as wilderness, to establish the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, to establish the Mojave National Preserve, and for other purposes.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 - Public law 111-11 (3/30/2009) An act to designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.