Size: 71,389 acres
Location: San Bernardino County; 40 miles southeast of Baker, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)
Area Description : The 76,983-acre (approximate) Bristol Mountains Wilderness contains the tilted and bisected old volcanic plain called Old Dad Mountains and the northern portion of the Bristol Mountains. The broad Budweiser Wash drains into the eastern portion of the wilderness. The vegetation type is predominantly creosote bush desert scrub and desert wash scrub. Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards. The Bristol Mountains also provide habitat for migrating desert bighorn sheep.
Getting There : Interstate 40 forms portions of the wilderness' southern boundary. Take the Ludlow exit from 1-40 and follow the dirt road north for about 2 miles to a pipeline road and turn east. There are no established trailheads and high clearance vehicles are recommended.
Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the owner and do not use these lands without permission.
Additional Information :
Hiking, horseback riding, hunting, camping, rock hounding, photography, and backpacking are examples of activities that can be enjoyed in this wilderness.
Climate and Special Equipment Needs
Temperatures are fairly mild in the early spring, late fall, and winter; generally 30-80°F. Summer temperatures are extremely hot. Temperatures are commonly over 115°F and can get well over 120°F. Always carry water; desert springs are not reliable water sources.
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:
- USGS 7.5 Quadrangle Maps:
- Ash Hill
- Broadwell Lake
- Brown Buttes
- Budweiser Wash
- East of Siberia
- East of Broadwell
- Kelso Dunes
- West of Budweiser Wash