Dark gray, massive mountains extending southeast from Indian Pass make up the central and western portions of the diminutive Picacho Peak Wilderness. Mica Peak stands near the center of this range, the highest point in the Wilderness at 1,499 feet. South of these mountains, benchland rolls away, dissected by narrow arroyos with vertical walls. The northeastern section of the area makes up a third distinctive region: open basins and large washes overlooked by small peaks. In Gavilan Wash on the north and Carrizo Wash on the east, you'll find the lowest points in the region. Carrizo Wash holds a natural rock tank at the foot of Carrizo Falls that traps the runoff from desert cloudbursts. From above the tank, rainwater cascades 40 feet down a series of rock ledges into a pool lined with cattails, a desert oasis for a variety of wildlife including bighorn sheep.
You may see some wild horses and burros roaming Picacho Peak Wilderness, or a desert tortoise burrowing into the soft volanic soil. You also may discover a couple of unmaintained, two-track trails to follow. Picacho Peak itself lies southeast of the Wilderness boundary.
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 Picacho Peak 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.