Big Horn Peak emerges 1,800 feet above a desert plain, near the middle of this wilderness, which ranges from 1,400 to 3,500 feet in elevation. Neighboring escarpments add to this area's exceptional scenic value. Nine miles of the jumbled ridgeline of the Big Horn Mountains cross the Wilderness, surrounded by small hills, fissures, chimneys, and slim canyons which are covered with saguaro cactus, cholla, apache hedgehog cactus, ocotillo, mesquite, ironwood, paloverde, and creosote. Here, you'll find desert bighorn sheep as well as Gila monsters, kit foxes, and desert tortoise. Other permanent residents include golden eagles, prairie falcons, barn owls, and great horned owls, all of whom nest on the walls of the canyons. Just to the north of this area lies Hummingbird Springs Wilderness.
Although there are no trails, hikers can access the area via unmaintained and primitive two-track routes from the northern, eastern, and western boundaries. In addition to backpackers, the area draws expert rock climbers. Primitive camping opportunities exist throughout the Wilderness for the well versed camper. Although the area receives 6 inches of annual precipitation, water is limited and unavailable during most months. Average annual temperatures range from 35 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to 105 degrees in summer.
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 Big Horn Mountains Wilderness.
From I-10, take exit 94 toward Tonopah go about 0.4 mile. Turn Right onto 411th Ave about 0.6 mile. Take the 1st left onto Camelback Road about 1 mile. Take the 1st right onto N 419th Ave about 0.4 mile. Turn left toward W Bethany Home Road go 0.7 mile. Take the 2nd left onto W Bethany Home Road about 0.2 miles. Slight right onto N 423rd Ave go 3.2 miles. Slight left about 0.1 mile. Take the 1st left about 4.0 miles. Turn right toward 355th Ave go about 1.4 miles. Turn left onto 355th Ave go 1.5 miles. Turn left to stay on 355th Ave go 1.1 miles. Turn right for about 1.5 miles. Turn right go 3.2 miles.
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.