The Bureau of Land Management owns the 15,400 acres of Aubrey Peak Wilderness. This wilderness is located in Mohave County, 70 miles of Kingman, Arizona, and just 40 miles from Lake Havasu City.
In 1990, this land became part of the ever-expanding National Wilderness Preservation System. It’s a wilderness region where nature lovers can spend days at a time in complete solitude, participate in several recreational activities, and spend quality time in a place where nature rules and humans are just temporary guests.
The highlight of this land is Aubrey Peak, a large cliff-encircled mesa. Aubrey Peak dominates the entire eastern half of the wilderness and ranges in elevation from 1600 to 5000 feet above sea level.
Aubrey Peak Wilderness has stark landscapes full of geological formations eroded by wind and water. As a result, this Wilderness is filled with vividly colored volcanic sculptures, tufa caves, Slickrock terraces, natural windows, spires, and deep water-filled pockets called tinajas.
Explore the wilderness, and you’ll continuously find yourself stumbling upon hidden mesas, serpentine canyons, buttes, and volcanic plugs. Aubrey Peak Wilderness is situated in a transition zone, which explains its diverse geology.
Make sure you bring along your map, compass, and GPS so you can always find your way back after getting too deep into exploration. A four-wheeled vehicle is your best friend in this wilderness.
Drive 22 miles south on Interstate 40, from Kingman, Arizona. The Interstate will take you to the Yucca/Alamo Road turnoff. From Yucca, you would need to drive another 44 miles south on Alamo Road until you reach the wooden pole power line that crosses the road. The Wilderness boundary isn’t too far ahead from the maintenance road here; jeep trails are what defines the edge of the wilderness.
In case of rain, stick to the Chicken Springs Road Access. On the drive there, the cliffs will begin to appear long before the wilderness. Cliffs surround the entire wilderness region, so drive carefully and make sure you set out with plenty of supplies.
The Wilderness itself doesn’t host any campsites. However, there are plenty of campgrounds nearby for campers to enjoy.
Burro Creek Campground is a BLM campground and closest to the wilderness. In an hour from the wilderness, you’ll reach the Burro Creek Recreation Site within the scenic Sonoran Desert Canyon. It’s a very serene and peaceful area and a popular stopover amongst the travelers in the region. This contrasting recreation area, with deep blue pools and tree-lined banks on one side and the desert landscape, hills, and cliffs on the other, makes it a heavenly experience to camp here.
The featured campground at Burro Creek boasts 22 sites at an elevation of 1932 ft. The campground is equipped with a picnic area and a desert garden. The pad on the campsites is made of dirt, and the maximum number of days that can be spent camping here is 14. The maximum length of RV at this campground is 45 ft. Drinking water is available. Campfire and pets are allowed.
Standard Wash Campground is another Bureau of Land Management campground located nearby on the south of Lake Havasu. This campground offers plenty of room, shade, and privacy for an enjoyable RV camping experience. Fourteen days primitive camping is allowed on the campground, which is equipped with a dump station and drinking water. This campsite is offered to the public free of cost.
This is a wilderness, and one with quite a unique geological formation. Hiking is one of the top activities you get to do here, and there are no limitations.
You won’t find any official trails at the Aubrey Peak Wilderness. However, the sand washes make cross-country hiking fairly easy, and you can take any path you want. Remember a few tips, such as staying away from the cliffs and near the washes. Also, avoid hiking during the rainy season as it can get dangerous.
While Aubrey Peak Wilderness doesn’t have enough water to allow water-based activities, it does have enough to feed the very many species of birds that reside in the area. Desert birdwatchers experience a splendid time here as the birds are quite easy to spot, especially if you choose a strategic spot and stay vigilant.
Some of the birds you are highly likely to catch in action are verdins, black-throated sparrows, crissal thrashers, Abert's towhees, and black-tailed gnatcatchers, to name but a few.
Aubrey Peak is the highest peak in this wilderness at 2,953 feet. You can admire it from afar and use it as a backdrop for some amazing photography. However, if you are a climber, then you can also scale it and enjoy a whole different experience. Good trail and road network make it a half-day hike to the base of the summit. The best time to climb the summit is during fall and spring.
Aubrey Peak Wilderness is situated in a transition zone between the Mohave and the Sonoran Desert, with the Sonoran Desert National Monument, just to the south of the region. This means the wildlife here is as diverse as it can get.
One unusual species in the region is the herds of Desert bighorn sheep. Other common species include the jackrabbit, Gila monster, coyote, kangaroo rat, and western diamond rattlesnake.
Photographers will get so much to capture here that they are more likely to run out of camera memory before things to photograph. The wildlife, birds, bright-colored tufts, basalt, and rhyolites left in the wake of volcanic activities make a for a diverse landscape that is captivating for any nature lover.
Standard Wash Trail is a popular off-road hiking and climbing venue a little way from the Aubrey Peak Wilderness. The trailhead is near Milepost 173. The trail is 9.6 miles in length and takes nearly 4.5 hours to hike, so it's not for beginners. But experienced hikers will find much to enjoy on this wilderness trail.