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Palo Verde Mountains Wilderness

Legal Description
7.5 Topo Map 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Photo Gallery



Size: 30,605 acres. Palo Verde

Location:  Imperial County; 18 miles southwest of Blythe, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Area Description : Distinguishing this wilderness are twin buttes known as the Flat Tops, which stand out as a landmark against a range of jagged peaks. Palo Verde Peak is the high point of the range rising to 1,800 feet. Dry washes cut across the mountain slopes, supporting such vegetation as palo verde, mesquite and ironwood. Clapp Spring and its palm oasis are unique to this area, offering the only permanent water source to such wildlife species as desert bighorn sheep, desert tortoise and wild burros. Rather than hide among canyon walls as most springs in the desert, Clapp Spring lies in an
open landscape. Saguaro cactus dot the southeastern part of the wilderness, a rare plant species in California.

Getting There : To access this wilderness, take the Milpitas Wash Road exit off of State Highway 78 (approximately 12 miles south of Palo Verde). Go north and the wilderness will be east of the road.

Nonfederal Lands: Private lands lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the landowner 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.


  • Desert Access Guide:
    • Trigo Mountains
  • USGS 7.5 Quadrangle Maps:
    • Palo Verde Peak
    • Thumb Peak
    • West of Palo Verde Peak
    • Wiley Well

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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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