The Jimbilnan Wilderness contains mountainous terrain representing the northeast extremities of the Black Mountains. They contrast directly with the flat surface of the waters of Lake Mead in the distance and reach up to 3,025 feet. Deep canyons and washes that cut across the mountains and flow southeast into the Overton Arm of Lake Mead. South of the Black Mountains, an extensive area of white gypsum mudhills slopes south towards the Virgin Basin section of Lake Mead. Closer to the lake, the land is defined by thick layers of alluvial outwash.
The colorful sand dunes in this area are known habitat for two rare plants, the Beaver Dam milkvetch and the sticky buckwheat. Vegetation primarily consists of typical Mojave Desert Scrub species. The flats and bajadas are dominated by Creosote Bush, White Bursage, Fremont's Dalia (Indigo Bush), Mojave Yucca, a few Beavertail Pricklypear Cactus, and many other low-growing desert shrubs. The mountain slopes include species such as Creosote Bush, White Bursage, Nevada Jointfir, Schott's pygmycedar, Desert Stingbush, Sweetbush, Goldenhills (brittlebush), and Barrel Cactus.
Wildlife in the Jimbilnan typically includes Desert Bighorn, Black-tailed Jackrabbits, Coyotes, white-tailed antelope squirrels, and side-blotched and Zebratail lizards. Wild horses, who seem to have invaded the area, are also present. If you turn your gaze upwards, you may spot a variety of bird species including Red-tailed Hawk, Common Raven, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, House Finch, Black-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Say's Phoebe, Canyon Wren, and Bald Eagle. Down by the lake you can find species such as American Coots, Double-crested Cormorants, and various ducks and grebes. Striped Bass and Carp are common in the lake.
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 Jimbilnan 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.
Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002 - Public law 107-282 (11/6/2002) To establish wilderness areas, promote conservation, improve public land, and provide for high quality development in Clark County, Nevada, and for other purposes
Always leave trip information with family or friends. This means your trip length, when you will return, and where you will be departing from in the park.
Take adequate provisions with you including food and water. Remember, you are in a desert and water is scarce. In addition, carry a basic first aid kit.
Before your trip, learn about the hazards you may encounter and take adequate precautions. Select appropriate clothing and equipment. Always hike with a companion.
Know your own limitations and the abilities and weaknesses of your hiking companions. Plan your route and rate of travel around the weakest member. Make sure that each member of your party knows what gear the others have packed.
Have an emergency plan. When journeying into the wilderness if an emergency arises, you may not be able to reach help in a timely manner. This means cell phones and radios may not work in rugged or remote parts of the park.
Know your location using a map, Global Positioning System (GPS) and/or compass. If you encounter trouble, do not be afraid to turn back. Be aware that trails, trail signs, and place signs may be missing due to vandalism or wash outs.
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.