The barren hills in the Mecca Hills Wilderness Area create an interesting pattern across this desert landscape.
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Big Maria Mountains Wilderness

Map
Legal Description
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

Size: 45,384 acres. Big Maria Mountains Wilderness Area

Location: Riverside County; 10 miles north of Blythe, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Area Description: The terrain of the Big Maria Mountains varies from gently sloping bajadas to numerous rough, craggy peaks disjointed by steep canyons. The northern boundary lies south of a major drainage known as Big Wash, and the eastern edge parallels State Highway 95 and the Colorado River. The west and south boundaries follow power lines and contours along the base of the mountains. Foxtail cactus and California barrel cactus dot the landscape, and a burro deer herd relies on the river's habitat for survival.

Getting There: State Highway 95 provides access from the east and north via Big Wash, and by Interstate 10 from the southwest via Midland Road and power line roads. A four wheel drive vehicle is 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:

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.
 
Pets 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 archaeological 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.

Maps:  

  • Desert Access Guide:
    • Blythe
  • USGS 7.5 Quadrangle Maps:
    • Big Maria Mountains North East
    • Big Maria Mountains North West
    • Big Maria Mountains South East
    • Big Maria Mountains South West
    • Blythe North East
    • McCoy Wash

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Bureau of Land Management
Palm Springs - South Coast Field Office
1201 Bird Center Drive
Palm Springs, California 92262
Phone: (760) 833-7100
Fax: (760) 833-7199
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F
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