Jagged peaks and spires are incised by mazes of twisting canyons in a distinctive part of the Chocolate Mountains preserved as Indian Pass Wilderness. Desert cloudbursts pour water down the canyons into several tree-lined washes. One of the washes, Julian Wash, dominates the heart of the Wilderness, running east toward the Colorado River and giving this area the local nickname of "Julian Wash Country." The region is crowned by Quartz Peak at 2,200 feet in the western portion. Proximity to the Colorado River and the Arizona desert contributes to wildlife species not commonly found in California: Colorado River toad, Great Plains toad, tree lizard. Mule deer scamper over the Wilderness, and the mountains provide ideal homes for desert bighorn sheep. Wild horses and burros sometimes can be seen in the area. Imperial National Wildlife Refuge lies immediately to the east.
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 Indian Pass 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.