Size: 236,488 acres.
Location: Riverside County; 25 miles northwest of Blythe, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)
Area Description: Within the Palen-McCoy Wilderness are the Granite, McCoy, Palen, Little Maria and Arica Mountains, which are five distinct mountain ranges separated by broad sloping bajadas. Because this large area incorporates so many major geological features, the diversity of vegetation and landforms is exceptional. The desert wash woodland found here provides food and cover for burro deer, coyote, bobcat, gray fox and mountain lion. Desert pavement, bajadas, interior valleys, canyons, dense ironwood forests, canyons and rugged peaks form a constantly changing landscape pattern.
Getting There: State Highway 62 provides access from the north, and Interstate 10 via the Midland Road provides access from the south. The area is accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles only.
Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the land owner and do not use these lands without permission.
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.
- Desert Access Guide:
- Sheephole Mountains
- Eagle Mountains
- USGS 7.5 Quadrangle Maps:
- Arica Mountains
- Arlington Mine
- East of Granite Pass
- Ford Dry
- Granite Pass
- Little Maria Mountains
- McCoy Spring, Palen Lake
- Palen Mountains, Palen Pass
- Sidewinder Well
- West of Palen Pass
Go to BLM Wilderness List