Size: 37,308 acres
Location: Trilobite Wilderness is located in San Bernardino County, California approximately 60 miles west of Needles, CA in between I-40 and historic Route 66. Maps of the area can be obtained from the Bureau of Land Management Field Office in Needles, California.
(Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)
Area Description : The 39,616-acre (approximate) Trilobite Wilderness covers the Marble Mountains, a narrow volcanic range extending 12 miles in a northwest-southwest direction. Alternating dark brown and light brown striations have been tilted by geologic processes and give a marbled appearance to the range. Through the center, several yellowish sandstone peaks with long talus slopes are prominent. Trending eastward from the mountain range, the wilderness includes low rolling hills and sloping bajadas. Vegetation is characteristic of the lower Mojave Desert, consisting of creosote bush scrub and desert wash scrub. Wildlife is also typical for the Mojave Desert; including coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners, red tail hawks, prairie falcons, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards. The area does have a very stable permanent population of bighorn sheep last estimated at around 150, and the eastern portion of the wilderness provides critical habitat for the threatened desert tortoise.
Getting There : Access this wilderness by traveling 28 miles east of Ludlow on Interstate 40, and take the Kelbaker Road exit. Travel south I mile, where the road intersects a pipeline. Turn east and follow the pipeline road for approximately one mile. The pipeline right-of-way forms the northern boundary of the wilderness for the next I I miles. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended.
Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the landowner and do not use these lands without permission.
Additional Information :
Permits are required for commercial or organized activities.
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:
- Brown Buttes
- Cadiz Summit
- Castle Dome
- Van Winkle Wash