Meadow Valley Range Wilderness Area
The Meadow Valley Range Wilderness area lies between the Delmar Mountains to the west and the Mormon Mountains to the east. It consists of three major landforms: the long ridgeline of the Meadow Valley Mountains, a large bajada beginning high on the main ridge sloping easterly towards Meadow Valley Wash, and finally Bunker Hills five miles from the southern section of the central bajada. Fossils in the limestone hills give us snapshots of life hundreds of millions of years ago, when these high inland mountains were merely sediments accumulating at the bottom of the sea. Conical buff-based Sunflower Mountain (shown left) sits astride the main ridgeline.
The various climates and elevations in the area provide important habitat for wildlife. Lower elevations in this area provide habitat for the desert tortoise, the banded Gila monster, the desert banded gecko, the sidewinder and the long-nosed leopard lizard. The higher mountain elevations provide habitat for desert bighorn sheep, cougars and an impressive diversity of raptors. Burrowing owls, golden eagles, ferruginous hawks, prairie falcons, Cooper’s hawks, merlins, and American kestrels are some of the raptors that have been spotted in the region. Vegetation consists of low desert shrubs with the exception of the northern section of the wilderness area, consisting of pinyon and juniper forest. Rare vegetation of the area includes the white bearpoppy and Clark mountain agave.