Dead Mountains Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

Bound to the east by the Colorado River and the west by Piute Valley, Dead Mountains Wilderness, which features the 4,000 feet-high Mount Manchester, is a wonderful place to spend time away from home and enjoy primitive camping adventures. Located 12 miles north of Needles, California, this Bureau of Land Management property is made of fascinating landscapes that make it attractive for nature lovers. The park is easy to access by road; however, no vehicles are allowed in the wilderness.
At this BLM park, there are plenty of things to do. One of the ways to stay active is by hiking the desert and wilderness areas. As you explore the park, you’ll get to see beautiful flora and wildlife. Feel free to take photographs of the beautiful trees and mountains in the park. Sightseers always enjoy their time in the wilderness too. Other activities include horseback riding, hunting, rock hounding, and backpacking. Outside the wilderness, there are plenty of nice places to visit, such as Mojave National Preserve, Hollow Hills Wilderness, Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, and Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
The wilderness areas are open to free and primitive camping opportunities for guests that wish to spend time away from the noise.

RV Rentals in Dead Mountains Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

Located in San Bernardino County, 12 miles north of Needles, California, Dead Mountains Wilderness is sited between US Highway 95 and the Needles-Laughlin Road, making it easy to access by visitors and guests who wish to explore the wilderness areas. All sides of the wilderness are easily accessible thanks to the presence of Bureau of Land Management routes around the park. Moreover, it is common for the northern and eastern boundaries of the park to be entered by off-highway vehicles.

It is important to note that there are several right-of-way roads in the park, particularly along the eastern boundary of the park, which are available for use by the public as well as right-of-way holders.

Motorized vehicles and mechanized transport equipment are not allowed within the wilderness, so guests can only move around on foot or on horses.

If you wish to enjoy the use of developed campgrounds available near the wilderness, you’ll find holiday equipment rentals at Needles and around Mojave National Preserve.

Parking

Public Transportation

There are no direct public transportation services to the BLM land in California.

Campgrounds and parking in Dead Mountains Wilderness

Campsites in Dead Mountains Wilderness

First-come first-served

Hole-in-the-Wall Campground

Hole-in-the-Wall Campground is located in Mojave National Preserve, west of Dead Mountains Wilderness. This campground which sits at an elevation of 4,400 feet, consists of 35 campsites that are open year-round and available to all on a first-come, first-served basis.

Facilities within the campground include pit toilets, fire rings, trash receptacles, picnic tables, and a dump station. RVs and trailers are accommodated within the campground, but no hookups are available.

There are two walk-in/tent campsites within the campground. Hiking is a popular activity.

Mid Hills Campground

Mid Hills Campground is located in Mojave National Preserve, west of Dead Mountains Wilderness. This campground which sits at an elevation of 5,600 feet is a cool spot consisting of 26 campsites that are open year-round and available to all on a first-come, first-served basis.

Facilities within the campground include pit toilets, fire rings, trash receptacles, and picnic tables. RVs and trailers are not recommended within the campground and no hookups are available. Tent campsites are present.

Seasonal activities in Dead Mountains Wilderness

In-Season

Flora

Resplendent flora species decorate different parts of Dead Mountains Wilderness. The vegetation most predominant within this BLM park is desert wash scrub and creosote bush desert scrub. As you stroll through the wilderness, look out for these florae, and feel free to take pictures where you see them. They form beautiful backgrounds for memoirs. The wash areas in the wilderness also consist of smoketrees. These smoketrees are part of the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA).

Wildlife

Dead Mountains Wilderness consist of various wildlife species characteristic of the Mojave Desert. As a result, during the time you’re exploring the park, you’ll come across a small herd of bighorn sheep, black-tailed jackrabbits, coyote, ground squirrels, and kangaroo rats.

Don’t be surprised to see quails, chucker, red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, and golden eagles wandering the wilderness or flying above. Look out for rattlesnakes too as these are common. If you venture to the eastern and northeastern sections of the wilderness, you may get to see desert tortoise too.

Sightseeing

The landscapes and natural features of Dead Mountains Wilderness provide nature explorers plenty of exciting opportunities to appreciate, revel in, and take photographs, while on vacation.

The mountain range that dominates the park offers the chance for rock climbers and hikers to pursue their recreational interests. The scenic view of the surroundings from the top of Mount Manchester at 4,000 feet, for example, is hard to resist. Sweeping bajadas and valley areas are some interesting features available to adventurers.

Off-Season

Nearby Attractions

If you wish to take your exploration outside Dead Mountains Wilderness, there are plenty of nearby attractions available for you. Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park and Lake Mead National Recreation Area are some of the beautiful places you can visit. Death Valley National Park is home to water-fluted canyons, snow-capped mountains, and desert dunes. Joshua Tree National Park features fascinating flora and fauna species, geological features and beautiful dark night skies. At Lake Mead National Recreation Area, water-based recreational activities abound.

Mojave National Preserve

The Mojave National Preserve is a 2,500 square mile preserve that is home to a large Joshua tree forest, spring wildflowers, cinder cone volcanoes, and beautiful sand dunes. If you take a trip to this preserve, be prepared to see long-abandoned mines, rock-walled military posts, as well as old ghost towns. There are plenty of things to do, some of which include hiking, wildlife viewing, camping, rock climbing, and nature photography. This desert area is great for outdoor recreation.

Colorado River

Colorado River flows along the eastern boundary of Dead Mountains Wilderness, offering the opportunity for visitors at this BLM land to enjoy the numerous recreational activities that the river is well-known for. There are boating facilities available on the river at Needles, meaning that boating enthusiasts can enjoy the chance to explore the river. California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks the river with rainbow trout from winter to spring, so fishing is also a common sport in the river.