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Whitewater Wild and Scenic River
The Whitewater River originates high on the 11,499-foot Mount San Gorgonio in the San Gorgonio Wilderness and includes the North, Middle and South Forks. From the headwaters, the designated reach flows through the San Bernardino Mountains for 28 miles to the Coachella Valley area. This river is jointly managed by BLM and Forest Service.
The river's outstandingly remarkable values include its highly diverse, colorful and striking scenery, with regionally unique headwater springs and steep, textured canyon walls. Wildlife viewing opportunities are also outstanding as the river corridor provides a critical link between the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains, supporting a large amount of quality remote, pristine and diverse habitat for Nelson's bighorn sheep, California spotted owl, mule deer, black bear and arroyo toad. The riparian habitat seasonally hosts endangered neo-tropical songbirds, including the least Bell's vireo and southwest willow flycatcher. The Whitewater River is also an important ceremonial and cultural area for traditional Cahuilla Indians, who visit the river to collect and gather native materials.