A large cliff-encircled mesa, Aubrey Peak dominates the middle of the eastern half of this Wilderness, which ranges in elevation from approximately 1,600’ to 3,000’. It is a land of stark geologic formations eroded by wind and water into brightly colored volcanic sculptures, a world of natural windows, tufa caves, spires, slickrock terraces, and tinajas (deep, water-filled pockets). You'll find numerous other mesas, buttes, volcanic plugs, and serpentine canyons. The Wilderness is set in a transition zone between the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Stands of imposing saguaro, paloverde, ironwood, and smoke trees, typical of the Sonoran Desert, merge with Joshua trees and other species found in the Mojave to create a patchwork quilt of vegetation. Available water makes this area a desert bird-watcher's paradise. Keep your eyes peeled for verdins, crissal thrashers, black-throated sparrows, Abert's towhees, and black-tailed gnatcatchers, to name but a few. If you're lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a herd of desert bighorn sheep. Discovered here recently, this species is unusual for this region.
Little rain falls in this area so be prepared with plenty of drinking water. Higher elevations receive more precipitation, some in the form of snow during the winter months; however, summer climate in this area is harsh, with temperatures in the daytime often exceeding 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October and April. There are no established trails, but the hiking is easy. Just follow the washes and orient yourself using the distinctive rock formations. There are a few unmaintained two-track primitive routes leading to long-abandoned mines that may also be used for hiking.
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 Aubrey Peak Wilderness.
The Aubrey Peak Wilderness is located in Mohave County, 70 miles south of Kingman, Arizona and 40 miles east of Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
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.
Plan ahead, always check weather conditions prior to your trip. Summer time temperatures often exceed 100° F. Water is very scarce in this unit. No naturally occurring water is present, except in potholes following rainstorms. Two wildlife water catchments are present which collect runoff from storms. Wherever found, water should always be purified.
Recreation opportunities in the Aubrey Peak Wilderness include hiking, backpacking, and hunting (upland game birds, desert bighorn sheep, and mule deer).
*Hunting regulations in Arizona are written and enforced by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The same regulations apply to wilderness.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
The summer climate in this area is harsh, with temperatures in the daytime often exceeding 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate between October and April.
Safety and Current Conditions
As with most areas of the desert, rain must be considered when visiting this wilderness. Alamo, Signal and 17-Mile Roads, although frequently maintained, can be difficult to travel following major rain events, because of flood damage. In particular, crossing the Big Sandy River after prolonged rain can be impossible if the river is running alot of water. One alternative to crossing the Big Sandy on the Signal Road is to take the Chicken Springs Road, between downtown Wikieup and the Alamo Road. The Chicken Springs Road avoids the Big Sandy River altogether, and mostly is a well-maintained road.
Want to Volunteer for Wilderness?
Citizens who volunteer their time to steward our wilderness areas are an essential part of wilderness management. Contact the following groups to inquire about volunteer opportunities.