Death Valley Additions – Axe Head & Ibex Hills

Fact Sheet: Death Valley Additions – Axe Head & Ibex Hills

The ‘Axe Head’ triangle-shaped area in extreme southern Death Valley National Park consists of low hills, desert washes, and prime habitat for the threatened desert tortoise. In addition to excellent wildlife viewing, this area offers outstanding opportunities for solitude. It is bordered on the north by lightly traveled dirt roads. On the south, it would be contiguous with the proposed wilderness in the Bowling Alley addition to Death Valley National Park.

The Ibex Hills are in the southwestern corner of Death Valley National Park and contain rugged mountains, remote canyons, tranquil desert washes, and habitat for the threatened desert tortoise, while offering outstanding opportunities for solitude. Its addition as wilderness would allow a connection between the small, isolated Saddle Peak Hills Wilderness managed by BLM with the larger Death Valley Wilderness area to the west.

These areas are home to desert tortoises, chuckwalla, grey fox, bobcats, kit fox, coyotes, and red-tailed hawks, among many other species. The Ibex Hills were formerly inhabited by desert bighorn sheep, and maybe a future site for the reintroduction of this once-widespread species.

These potential wilderness areas boast amazing vistas and the opportunity to enjoy Death Valley’s natural soundscape and solitude. The opportunities for isolation, quiet, and reflection in these areas are outstanding.

Quick Facts

  • Management Agency: National Park Service
  • Location: Southeastern area of Death Valley National Park, Inyo County
  • Size: Ibex Hills approximately 23,500 acres, Axe Head approximately 8,686 acres
  • Recreational Uses: Hiking
  • Ecological Values: Wildlife habitat and corridor