The Trilobite Wilderness covers the Marble Mountains, a narrow volcanic range extending 12 miles in a northwest-southwest direction. Alternating dark brown and light brown striations have been tilted by geologic processes and give a marbled appearance to the range. Through the center, several yellowish sandstone peaks with long talus slopes are prominent. Trending eastward from the mountain range, the wilderness includes low rolling hills and sloping bajadas. Vegetation is characteristic of the lower Mojave Desert, consisting of creosote bush scrub and desert wash scrub. Wildlife is also typical for the Mojave Desert; including coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners, red tail hawks, prairie falcons, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards. The area does have a very stable permanent population of bighorn sheep last estimated at around 150, and the eastern portion of the Wilderness provides critical habitat for the threatened 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 Trilobite Wilderness.
Trilobite Wilderness is located in San Bernardino County, California approximately 60 miles west of Needles, CA in between I-40 and historic Route 66. 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.