The barren hills in the Mecca Hills Wilderness Area create an interesting pattern across this desert landscape.
Desert cactus in bloom Dos Palmas Windmills at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains Firefighter working a prescribed burn Bighorn Sheep
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Palm Springs - South Coast Field Office

Orocopia Mountains Wilderness

View of the the Orocopia Mountains at sundown. Photo by Bob Wick, BLM.
Orocopia Mountains Wilderness

Location: Riverside County; 20 miles southeast of Indio, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Orocopia Mountains locationArea Description: 50,960 acres. The western boundary of the Orocopia Mountains Wilderness is contiguous with the Mecca Hills Wilderness with the exception of the Meccacopia Jeep Trail, which bisects the two wilderness areas. The forces of nature have produced a striking landscape here where open valleys, ridges and highly colorful and dramatically eroded canyons are the result of the region's proximity to the San Andreas fault system. Deep canyons and washes cut across the entire area, exposing walls of color shaded from bright red to black. Bighorn sheep, burro deer, desert tortoise and many small upland game species live among the mountains. The spiny-leaved Orocopia sage, Alverson's foxtail cactus, Orcutt's woody aster and the Mecca aster grow unexpectedly in washes, on stony slopes and in gypsum soils.

Getting There: Interstate 10 provides access to the wilderness from the north, State Highway 195 (Box Canyon Road) from the west and the Chiriaco Summit exit south along the Red Canyon four-wheel drive trail. The Bradshaw Trail provides access from the south.

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.

Orocopia Mountains Wilderness


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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. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
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