The Pinto Mountains Wilderness is located on Bureau of Land Management lands on the Joshua Tree National Park's northern boundary. The rugged Pinto Mountains rise sharply up from the northern edge of the Pinto Basin, a gigantic alluvial plain in the park. Roughly half of the Pinto range is inside the park and is managed as the Joshua Tree Wilderness.
The Pinto Mountains Wilderness hosts a variety of rare and fascinating species, including American badger, Bendire's thrasher, California leaf-nosed bat, desert tortoise, Nelson's bighorn sheep and pallid bat. The Fish and Wildlife Service has identified the area as "Critical Habitat" for the future survival of the desert tortoise.
Portions of the Pinto Mountains have long been worked by miners. However, the Wilderness is comprised of the most rugged and least disturbed portion of the range that lies outside of the park.
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 Pinto 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.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 - Public law 111-11 (3/30/2009) An act to designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.