Palo Verde Mountains Additions

Fact Sheet: Palo Verde Mountains Additions

Palo Verde Peak and Thumb Peak are the most notable mountains in this area, but a variety of jagged mountains sprawl across the landscape. Between the slopes of the mountains lay dry washes that help create distinction for every unique butte, peak, and jagged rincon. The additions would extend protection to the lower elevations to the south of the existing wilderness.

These mountains provide habitat for desert bighorn sheep, desert tortoise, wild burros, coyote, dove, quail, mountain lions, and diamondback rattlers. In lower elevations, Palo verde trees, mesquite, and ironwood can be found. Saguaro cacti (rarely seen in CA) grow along the south eastern margin of the wilderness.

Threats include unauthorized OHV use.

The area provides opportunity for hiking. Palo Verde Mountain summit offers a challenging and rewarding climb to advanced hikers. There are no established trails, so expect some rock scrambling. Views from the top look out across the Sonoran desert, the Colorado River, and into Arizona and Mexico. For a less intense hike, try Clapp springs on the northern side of the wilderness. Only a mile from the wilderness boundary, this spring is reason enough to head out to the Palo Verde range. The springs are a unique oasis of fan palms and mesquite located in a picturesque open space. This is the only source of permanent water in the area and thus attracts visitors and native species alike. Keep your eye out for the fabled wild horse herd rumored to still roam the area and visit the springs for a drink.

Quick Facts

  • Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management, El Centro Field Office
  • Location: (From Los Angeles) take the 10 east. Turn onto Hwy 78 S from Blyth. About 8 miles south of Palo Verde you can park and walk west. The wilderness boundary is less than a half-mile from the pavement.
  • Size: 10,100 acres
  • Recreational Uses: Hiking
  • Ecological Values: Wildlife habitat, spring, rare species and wildlife