The Mesquite Wilderness consists of portions of the Mesquite Mountains, Mesquite Valley, and the Clark Mountain Range. The Mesquite Mountains have more gradual rising slopes than the rough and rocky Clark Mountain Range. Numerous small caves are found in the porous rock of the Clark Mountains. Dominant vegetation ranges from the creosote brush sage association on the bajadas to blackbrush, Joshua trees, and pinyon-juniper at the higher elevations. Barrel cactus gardens are also found in some locations. Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including a large herd of bighorn sheep, coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, golden eagles, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards. The southwestern corner of the wilderness provides critical habitat for the desert tortoise.
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 Mesquite Wilderness.
Mesquite Wilderness is located in San Bernardino County, California approximately 6 miles west of Primm, Nevada and 30 miles northeast of Baker, California. The southern boundary of the wilderness is approximately ten miles north of I-15. Maps of the area can be obtained from the Bureau of Land Management Field Office in Needles, California.
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.
Hiking, horseback riding, hunting, camping, rock hounding, photography, and backpacking are examples of activities that can be enjoyed in this wilderness.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
Temperatures are fairly mild in the early spring, late fall, and winter; generally 30-80 F. Summer temperatures are extremely hot. Temperatures are commonly over 115 F and can get well over 120 F. Always carry water; desert springs are not reliable water sources.
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.