Rising to more than 6,100 feet above the Silurian Valley, the Avawatz Mountains form a commanding backdrop of colorful eroded slopes, rugged ridges, and steep, narrow canyons. The name "Avawatz" is derived from a Mohave Indian term meaning "red rock." And in fact, members of the Shoshone Nation continue to visit the area for spiritual and cultural purposes, collecting plants and other materials for crafts and medicines. With its diverse geology, the Avawatz Mountains Wilderness is a paradise for cross-country hikers and equestrians willing to brave harsh conditions and carry plenty of water in exchange for solitude and an outstanding backcountry experience.
Nine natural springs supply water to desert animals like bighorn sheep, coyotes, bobcats, and roadrunners. California biologists have identified the area as an important link for regional habitat connectivity, enabling wildlife to move across a larger landscape throughout the desert.
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 Avawatz Mountains Wilderness.
On the southeastern border of Death Valley National Park, 10 miles northwest of Baker. From I-15, exit at Kelbaker Road/CA-127. Go north from Baker approximately 10 miles and turn left on Harry Wade Road.
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.