Beauty Mountain Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

Offering the chance to get back to nature, the Beauty Mountain Wilderness area is located in Riverside County in the state of California. It is a breathtaking scene of wilderness that consists of 15,628 acres, the majority of which has been untouched by humans. Providing a rugged and mountainous setting for your outdoor adventure, this is an ideal spot for your Californian outdoor adventure, with opportunities for hiking, horse riding, photography, trail running, backpacking, hunting and so much more. The Beauty Mountain Wilderness area is also full of unique flora and fauna, as well as the chance to spot endangered species and plentiful wildlife in their natural habitat.

Designated a BLM wilderness area in 2009, the location is managed by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The boundaries to the north, east and west are surrounded by private lands, but the eastern boundary also follows the California Riding and Hiking Trail as well as providing a temporary route to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The area is dominated by the majestic Beauty Mountain, which towers above the rest at 5,548 feet. The nearby Million Dollar spring is one of the most pristine watersheds in all of California, and the surrounding gigantic plateaus and deep canyons form an impressive landscape like nowhere else.

RV Rentals in Beauty Mountain Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

If you plan on driving to Beauty Mountain Wilderness, this stunning reserve is located just across the boundary of River Side and San Diego. The area can be accessed via numerous roads, depending on the direction that you are coming from.

If you are heading there from Cahuilla, go south on Homestead Road, before turning south on the Cooper-Cienega Truck Trail. This passes through the two halves of the wilderness area, with Beauty Mountain being situated to the west. However, inside the BLM park's boundaries, there are no motorized vehicles permitted. Instead, there are designated areas where you can leave your car behind, and head into the wilderness on foot or horseback. Be careful when driving in winter. Snow and ice on the mountain tops can make some of the surrounding roads treacherous, and it is advised that you check driving conditions before you set off.

Parking

As previously mentioned, there are designated areas for parking your vehicle situated around the vicinity of the wilderness area.

Public Transportation

Due to the remote location of this BLM Wilderness Area, there is no direct public transportation to the Beauty Mountain Wilderness site in California.

Campgrounds and parking in Beauty Mountain Wilderness

Campsites in Beauty Mountain Wilderness

Reservations camping

Oak Grove Campground

Located on the east side of the Palomar Mountain, the Oak Grove campground is situated just along Highway 79. This is a popular campsite that is open year-round and contains 63 separate sites. There is plenty of space between each pitch to ensure privacy, and there are basic toilet and shower facilities. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance.

Note that not all of the sites within this campsite can accommodate RVs or trailers, and it is important to check when you make your reservation.

Temecula/ Vail Lake KOA

If you are looking for a campsite with more than the basics, then this could be the option for your family trip. The Temecula/ Vail Lake KOA is situated around 30 miles away from the Beauty Mountain Wilderness area and it features 467 campsites for tents and RV camping, with electrical, water and sewer hook-ups, as well as a snack bar, bathrooms, and a dog park.

This KOA offers excellent camping facilities, with all manner of facilities and amenities. There are tons of options for recreational activities, including swimming pools, outdoor activities, and a miniature golf course!

First-come first-served

Beauty Mountain Wilderness

Offering primitive camping amongst breathtaking scenery, camping is permitted throughout the Beauty Mountain Wilderness Area. However, with no motorized vehicles allowed in the area, this is tent camping only and RVs are not permitted. As a result, you will need to leave your vehicle in the designated areas. Pets are permitted into the BLM campsite but must be leashed and kept under control at all times.

If you would like to camp in this BLM area, it is open year-round on a first-come-first-served basis. There are no hook-ups or facilities; instead, the area offers the chance to get back to nature. There is also a 14-day maximum limit. If you do want to stay over the 14-day limit, you must move your camp at least 25 miles in any direction.

Camping in the BLM area promotes the Leave No Trace Principles which includes: plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose properly of waste, leave what you find, minimize the impact of campfires, respect the wildlife and finally being considerate of other visitors.

Seasonal activities in Beauty Mountain Wilderness

In-Season

Hiking

For anyone who enjoys hiking in nature, the Beauty Mountain Wilderness site provides an untouched area of natural beauty that is ready to be explored. There are multiple trails in the area that are more than suitable for hiking, trail running, and backpacking.

Whether you opt for the California Riding and Hiking Trail, the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, or one of the many others, there is a huge choice of hiking trails available in and around the Beauty Mountain area. However, it should be noted that the majority of these trails are relatively difficult, and may not be suitable for a beginner.

Picnicking

There are multiple picnicking areas that are ideal for enjoying al fresco dining around the Beauty Mountain Wilderness Area. You will need to take all of your food and resources with you, as there is nowhere nearby to pick up supplies. S’ mores around the campfire with the chance to gaze up at the millions of stars in the clear Californian sky provides an authentic camping experience.

Although campfires are allowed, you must practice fire safety at all times and ensure that your fire has been thoroughly put out before you leave.

Horse riding

The Beauty Mountain wilderness area is simply ideal for exploring on horseback. Canter through the wilderness and trot your way up the rocky slopes.

Equestrians may also wish to take the nearby California Riding and Hiking Trail which is aligned with the eastern boundary of the BLM wilderness area. This is a 37.6-mile trail that offers the opportunity to see the Mojave and Colorado deserts as well as the chance to see impressive rock formations and wilderness at its finest. However, it is important to note that you will need to take all the supplies that you could possibly need for you and your horse, including water and food.

Off-Season

Photography

With such an array of unique flora and fauna in the area, it would be a shame to miss the perfect picture. With the Beauty Mountain Wilderness area providing nature’s most photogenic spots around every corner.

The rugged mountainsides also provide multiple spots that are ideal for taking snaps of the nearby landscapes. Capture panoramic vistas of the dramatic rock formations and ideal Instagram worthy shots, with elevations ranging from 2,920 ft near Culp Valley to the peak of Beauty Mountain at 5,548 ft.

Wildlife watching

With the chance to explore such stunning scenery as well as the opportunity to spot native animals in their habitat, Beauty Mountain Wilderness is ideal for anyone who appreciates wildlife. There are several endangered species who are at home within the park, including mountain lions, golden eagles, the Cooper's hawk San Diego horned lizard, and the northern red diamond rattlesnake amongst others.

You must keep safe when wildlife watching, and you should never approach or feed wild animals in the area.

Hunting

Some hunting, fishing and non-commercial trapping are permitted in the area, but all state and federal laws and regulations must be adhered to. Target shooting is also allowed in certain areas, but you will need to clarify this with the ranger’s office as the area may be closed to hunting at certain times.

If you are hoping to land the catch of the day, there are several fishing spots located near the Beauty Mountain Wilderness area. With opportunities for baitcasting, spinning or fly fishing, this area is particularly popular for catching Largemouth Bass as well as trout.