Just beyond Alamo Dam, the Bill Williams River cuts through this Wilderness, dividing two mountain ranges, the Rawhides to the north and the Buckskins to the south. For more than five miles the river traverses the colorful 600-foot-deep Bill Williams Gorge, a stretch of white water that attracts many river runners. Several small rocky side canyons join the river, their waters feeding into the main flow over low falls. The riparian habitat supports cottonwood and willow, and provides habitat for beavers, several species of raptors, amphibians, and reptiles. At least one pair of bald eagles nest here.
The Rawhide Mountains are low, with elevations from 700 feet to 2,430 feet. Numerous outcroppings break the skyline, and several washes and canyons cut through the Rawhides. Mississippi Wash is probably the most notable, a winding canyon with several waterfalls. The Buckskin Mountains are higher and more scenically appealing, with elevations from 1,700 feet to 3,927 feet on Ives Peak, but they are less easily accessed. Blessed with year-round water, the area makes a fine choice for extended backpacking trips.
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 Rawhide 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.