Needles Field Office

Mesquite Wilderness

Indian Paint Brush add vibrant red color to a valley during the spring wildfower season. Photo Courtesy of Murl Shaver
Mesquite Wilderness

Location:  San Bernardino County; 50 miles northeast of Baker, California. (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Mesquite locationArea Description: 44,804 acres. Mesquite Wilderness consists of portions of the Mesquite Mountains, Mesquite Valley, and the Clark Mountain Range. The Mesquite Mountains have more gradual rising slopes than the rough and rocky Clark Mountain Range. Numerous small caves are found in the porous rock of the Clark Mountains. Dominant vegetation ranges from the creosote brush sage association on the bajadas to blackbrush, Joshua trees, and pinyon-juniper at the higher elevations. Barrel cactus gardens are also found in some locations. Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including a large herd of bighorn sheep, coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, golden eagles, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards. The southwestern corner of the wilderness provides critical habitat for the desert tortoise.

Getting There: To access the southwestern corner of the wilderness, take the Cima Road exit from interstate 15 (26 miles east of Baker) and travel north for approximately 7 miles on the paved Excelsior Mime Road. The boundary is 500 feet northeast of the centerline of the road for the next 3 miles. The Kingston Road, bearing right from the Excelsior Mine Road, forms the northern boundary of the wilderness.

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.

Mesquite 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
Needles Field Office
1303 S Highway 95
Needles, CA 92363
Phone: (760) 326-7000
Fax: (760) 326-7099
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
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