U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Needles Field Office|
A weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature has the curious ability to remind us -- like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness -- that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours... for a little while we are again able to see as a child sees, a world of marvels.
When the subject of hiking comes up, most people think of well-defined paths meandering through grassy meadows leading to an overlook or placid lake. Signs along the trail tell distance traveled, and people politely move to the side of the trail to allow others to pass.
In the desert, you won't find many defined, heavily used, marked or interpretive trails, but you will find a different hiking experience. These lands are of a different beauty and you most likely will not see another soul on your hike unless you bring them along. This is desert wilderness hiking at its best. If you're lucky, there will be a sign or marker at the trailhead, so map and compass skills are strongly recommended.
These trails were not constructed; they were worn into the ground by the hooves of wild life such as bighorn sheep and wild free roaming Burros. Most lead to life-saving springs. They traverse broad, open bajadas, up sandy washes or along the ledges of volcanic mountain ranges to places that have remained essentially unchanged for hundreds of years.
You will see landscapes accented with colors ranging from deep reds, browns, tans and grays to black and yes, the colors of wildflowers in the spring. Wildlife abounds with hawks, lizards, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and the hardy jackrabbit all eking out an existence in this beautiful but harsh land. If you have a sharp eye you may even catch a glimpse of bighorn sheep, the threatened desert tortoise or even a mountain lion.
So if your idea of hiking is walking along manicured trails with dozens if not hundreds of others to return to a crowded camp at sundown this place may not be for you. But if you're a rugged soul longing for solitude and wide-open spaces, check the links below and begin your adventure.
Please Note: Camping or engaging in any other recreational activity with in 200 yards of a wildlife watering source for a period of more than thirty (30) minutes is prohibited. Water is a very precious resource in the desert save it for wildlife!