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El Centro Field Office

Coyote Mountains Wilderness

Ground view of succulents in a rock trail with hills in the background.
Coyote Mountains Wilderness

Location: Imperial County; 35 miles west of El Centro, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Coyote Mountains locationArea Description: 18,631 acres. Described as a fish hook shaped mountain range, the Coyote Mountains make up 40 percent of this wilderness. Part of the Carrizo Badlands lie within the northern portion of the wilderness, their narrow and twisting gullies giving the landscape its austere, forbidding appearance. A group of unusual sandstone rock formations, believed to be six million years old, add to the character of this region. The barefoot gecko is known to make its home among the mountain ridges.

Getting There: This wilderness can be accessed from two routes. From U.S. Highway 80 (Evan Hughes Highway) turn north on Painted Gorge Road, which will take you to the wilderness boundary. Or take State Route S2 to the Fossil Canyon Road and turn north, which also will take to the boundary of the wilderness.

Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the owner and do not use these lands without permission.

Additional Information: Signs indicating "Wilderness" and "Closed Road" or "Closed Route" are placed at various intervals. Vehicles can be parked outside the wilderness boundary; however, the boundary is set back 30 feet from unmaintained dirt roads and 300 feet on paved roads.

Mechanized or motorized vehicles are NOT PERMITTED in a wilderness

Hunting, fishing, and non-commercial trapping are allowed under state and local laws.

Pet are allowed, but please keep your pets under control at all times.

Horses are permitted, however you may be required to carry feed.

Removal, disturbance, or attempting to remove archaelogical materials is a felony. Selling, receiving, purchasing, transporting, exchanging or offering to do so is prohibited by law.

CAMPING: Camping is permitted, limited to 14 days. After 14 days, campers must relocate at least 25 miles from previous site.

Help BLM preserve California's fragile deserts. Please park your vehicle or set up camp in previously disturbed sites.

Gathering wood for campfires, when permitted, is limited to dead and down materials. Do not cut live vegetation.

The BLM encourages all desert recreationists and travelers exploring public lands, not only within southern California but through the west, to use propylene glycol based antifreeze/coolant in their touring and recreation vehicles. Proven safer, it will have minimal impacts on the wildlife and the environment should a leak occur.

Coyote Mountains Wilderness


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Leave no trace, center for outdoor ethics.

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Bureau of Land Management
El Centro Field Office
1661 S. 4th Street
El Centro CA 92243
Phone: (760) 337-4400
Fax: (760) 337-4490
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F
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