Gently sloping bajadas, or desert slopes, rise to numerous rough and craggy peaks separated by steep canyons in Big Maria Mountains Wilderness. The Big Marias lie just south of a major drainage called Big Wash and just west of the Colorado River and the Arizona border. The northwest boundary follows a power line south, then turns southeast to trace the contours of the base of the mountains. Foxtail cactus and California barrel cactus dot the dry and desolate landscape, and a small herd of deer depend on the waters of the river for survival.
There are no trails, but several unmaintained two-track primitive routes providing foot access into the Wilderness.
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 Maria Mountains 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.