The 7,323-foot Kingston Range rises high above three low desert valleys: Mesquite, Shadow, and Silurian. The proposed wilderness additions would extend protection to the lower slopes of the Kingston Range and Kingston Wash. The Kingston Range is of interest to geologists because of its complex movements and rock exposures. Some of the oldest rocks in California are exposed here, with granite dating back more than a billion years, and limestone and dolomite are along the range’s edges. A wide variety of minerals including gold, silver, copper, uranium, zeolite, bentonite, gypsum, talc, and lead provide unusual microhabitats for plants and animals.
The Kingston Range contains one of the highest concentrations of endangered species and unusual plant assemblages in the California desert, due to its extremely varied terrain and unusual mineral formations. A relict stand of white fir trees are found on the north slope, and other rare plants also thrive here. Joshua trees and barrel cacti are abundant, and the giant nolina, which grows to be about 15 feet high and 10 feet in girth, is also found here. Visitors to the Kingston Range may encounter animals as diverse as prairie falcons, Bighorn Sheep, Panamint chipmunks, yellow-billed cuckoos, desert tortoises, pupfish, raptors, vermilion flycatchers, and the banded Gila monster.
Because of its proximately to Dumont Dunes OHV recreation area, unauthorized OHV trespass threatens the sensitive biodiversity in the Kingston Range.
Just 50 miles from Las Vegas and 50 miles from Baker, the Kingston Range proposed wilderness additions offer wonderful opportunities for solitude and backcountry recreation. The high point of the range offers excellent views of the surrounding valleys, and the washes below are favorite gemstone hunting areas.