New Water Mountains Wilderness Area
Wilderness Management Plan

Location and Description

New Water Mountains Wilderness Area The rugged 24,600-acre New Water Mountains Wilderness is 10 miles east of Quartzsite and about four miles south of Interstate 10. Located adjacent to and north of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness, this area is characterized by strings of craggy spires, sheer rock outcrops, natural arches, slickrock canyons and deep sandy washes. 

Black Mesa, a large volcanic butte rising 1,200 feet above the Ranegras Plain, dominates the western part of the wilderness. Vegetation is sparse with saguaro, creosote, ocotillo, and cholla dotting the hills and paloverde and ironwood lining the washes. The wilderness provides important desert bighorn sheep habitat.

The wilderness offers many types of primitive recreation, such as extended backpacking and hiking trips, day hikes, and watching wildlife. Opportunities to photograph and hunt deer and desert bighorn sheep, landscape photography, and rock collecting are plentiful.


The western boundary of the wilderness can be accessed via the Gold Nugget Road south of Interstate 10 (exit 26). The north-central part of the wilderness can be reached by the Ramsey Mine Road south of Highway 60. The Kofa Wilderness forms the southern boundary of the New Water Mountains Wilderness.

Nonfederal Lands

Some routes that reach the wilderness cross lands are not federally administered. Please respect the property rights of the owners and do not cross or use these lands without their permission.

Related Maps

  • 7.5-minute Topographic: Crystal Hill, New Water Mtns., New Water Well
  • 1:100,000 BLM Surface Management:  Blythe, Salome
  • Game and Fish Management Unit 44B

For more information contact:

  Yuma Field Office
7341 E. 30th Street
Yuma, Arizona 85365
Phone: (928) 317-3200
Fax: (928) 317-3250
Field Manager:  John MacDonald
Hours:  7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., M-F

"Yet to a vast number of American citizens life's most splendid moments come in the opportunity to enjoy undefiled nature."
Robert Marshall, 1934