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Indian Pass Wilderness

View up a wash in the Indian Pass Wilderness Area
Indian Pass Wilderness

Location: Imperial County; 50 miles east of Brawley, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Indian Pass locationArea Description: 32,419 acres. The Indian Pass Wilderness is a distinctive part of the Chocolate Mountains, a range which extends from south central Riverside County to the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona. Quartz peak is the highest point in the wilderness capped at 2,200 feet. Jagged peaks and spires are sliced by mazes of twisting canyons which carry water from occasional desert cloudbursts into several tree-lined washes. One of these washes passes through the heart of the wilderness area, giving rise to the region's local name, "Julian Wash country." The area's proximity to the Colorado River and the Arizona Desert contribute to the presence of wildlife species not commonly found in the California Desert. The Colorado River toad, Great Plains toad and tree lizard, while common in other states, are rarely seen in California. Burros and mule deer make their home over the entire area, and the rugged mountains provide ideal habitat for the desert bighorn sheep.

Getting There: Access this wilderness from Ogilby Road (S-34), which runs north-south between Interstate 8 and State Highway 78. Indian Pass Road runs from Ogilby Road to the Picacho State Recreation Area. The wilderness lies along the north side of the road to the State Park boundary approximately 6 miles from the head of Gavilan Wash.

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.

Indian Pass Wilderness


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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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