Sand dunes dominate the landscape in the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area.
Off-Highway Vehicle Algodones Dunes Sunflower Hiker
BLM>California>El Centro>Recreation>Wilderness>Picacho Peak Wilderness Area
Print Page
El Centro Field Office

Picacho Peak Wilderness

View of the picacho peak mountains.
Picacho Peak Wilderness

Location: Imperial County; 40 miles south of Blythe, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Picacho Peak locationArea Description: 8,860 acres. This Wilderness is made up of three distinctive parts. The central and western portions are dominated by a massive range of dark gray mountains that extend southeast from Indian Pass. Mica Peak, the highest point within the wilderness at 1,499 feet, is located near the center of this range. South of these central mountains is a rolling benchland that is actually dissected by narrow, vertical walled arroyos. The third region within this wilderness is the northeastern area, where small peaks, open basins and large washes have formed. The lowest points in the wilderness area are found in Gavilan and Carrizo Washes on the east boundary. The Carrizo Wash supports a natural rock "tank" which traps water at the base of Carrizo Falls. The falls are created by runoff from desert cloudbursts, which periodically cascade over a series of rock ledges dropping 40 feet. A large cattail-lined pool at the base of the falls provides a desert oasis for a variety of wildlife species including desert bighorn sheep. Wild horses and burros roam this wilderness, and desert tortoise burrow in the soft volcanic soils.

Getting There: Access this wilderness from Ogilby Road (S-24), which runs north-south between Interstate 8 and State Highway 78. Indian Pass Road runs east from Ogilby Road to Picacho State Recreation Area boundary. The wilderness lies along the south side of Gavilan Wash. The south boundary of the wilderness parallels Hyduke Road, which is accessible from either Ogilby Road or Picacho State Park Road.

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.

Picacho Peak Wilderness


Legal Description


Leave no trace, center for outdoor ethics.

Know Before You Go 

Wilderness List

National Conservation Lands

Contact Us

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
Contact us by Email