Jumbo Springs Wilderness is a small area that offers fantastic panoramic views of Lake Mead and the lower reaches of the Grand Canyon. As the crow flies, Jumbo Springs Wilderness is a relatively short distance from Las Vegas, Nevada. However, by car, this wilderness is one of the most remote areas in southern Nevada and exemplifies what it means to be a wilderness.
Located on the southeastern side of Jumbo Peak, the 4,631 acre Jumbo Springs Wilderness reaches elevations of 4,700 feet. The upper canyons of three major washes drain through Jumbo Basin into Lake Mead. Sparsely vegetated rough granitic ridges, canyons, domes, smooth cliffs, and coarse-grained boulders blanket the landscape. Water can be found in springs and in the granite, water-polished potholes in Cottonwood Spring.
The silence along the rugged ridges and peaks of this intriguing backcountry destination will become more and more apparent the deeper into the wilderness you venture. Infrequent visitor use and the need for route finding skills provide great opportunities for solitude and recreation including hiking, horseback riding, hunting, exploring, and camping under the night sky.
Jumbo Springs Wilderness is an area of complex geology. Here you will find Precambrian metamorphic rocks, with coarse-grained granitic rocks overlying them, smooth cliffs, granitic domes and boulders, and deeply cut canyons.
Flora and Fauna
Jumbo Springs Wilderness is a sparsely vegetated Mojave Desert scrub environment with creosote bush, white bursage, catclaw acacia, Mojave yucca, Nevada jointfir, and barrel cactus scattered across the landscape. In Cottonwood Canyon you can find rabbitbrush, desert willow, honey mesquite, and buckhorn cholla. At the higher elevations, you'll find single-leaf pinyon pine and Utah juniper.
With a watchful eye you may spot desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, desert woodrats, white-tailed antelope squirrels, side-blotched lizards, and the slow moving desert tortoise. Red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, golden eagles, Gambel's quail, and white-crowned sparrows can be found in the brush or in the sky above. Beware of rattlesnakes among the rocks and shaded trees.