On the eastern flank of California's coastal peninsular ranges, the Jacumba Mountains often appear as a fantastic jumble of granitic rock pushed up by faults in long-gone days. The mountains extend into Mexico, and the southern boundary of the Wilderness is the international border. A broad range, the Jacumbas are really a series of almost parallel ridges separating valleys, with each ridge successively lower than the next, forming a great staircase descending eastward into the Colorado Desert.
Four transitional zones lie within the Wilderness. The western portion, the region near Smugglers Cave, provides homes for mule deer, rare peninsular bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and kangaroo rats. The Myers Valley-Pinto Canyon portion contains small oases of California fan palms. A mountainous ridge separates Myers from Davies Valley, the largest valley in the Wilderness, near the middle of the area, with large stretches of surface cobbles covering the ground. The eastern mountains enclose Skull Valley, a secluded basin with a dry lake.
An eight-mile-long trail, often faint, follows Davies Valley with two opportunities to loop back to the start. Bring a map.
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 Jacumba 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.