Rainbow Mountain Wilderness
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Although this area is signifcantly smaller than the adjacent Mt. Charleston Wilderness and La Madre Mountain Wilderness, don't let its size fool you. This wilderness is an artist's dream with gorgeous vertical red and buff colored sandstone, and deep narrow canyons that twist and turn, carpeted with vegetation. Some of the high points of this wilderness are Mount Wilson at 7,070 feet and Rainbow Mountain at 6,924 feet in elevation. With a combined total of 25,113 acres, this wilderness is jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.


Here you will find Jurassic sandstone cliffs with great examples of cross-bedding, which reveals their origin as sand dunes. You can also find older limestone that has been thrust over the younger sandstone. The geologic scenery of the wilderness is associated with the Keystone Thrust which extends for more than 45 miles through the Spring Mountains.

Flora and Fauna

The range in elevation in this area provides for a variety of life zones. Here you can find ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, juniper, ash, manzanita, silk tassel, bitterbush, apache plume, scrub oak, willow, and hackberry.

With a keen eye you can spot desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, gray foxes, ringtails, rock squirrels, white-tailed antelope squirrels, and Merriam's kangaroo rats. You may also spot golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, great horned owls, Anna's hummingbirds, yellow warblers, western tanagers, and black-throated gray warblers.

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Last updated: 12-18-2013