Mount Wilson Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

Encompassing eight miles of Wilson Ridge that rises to more than 5,400 feet, and featuring lots of space for dry camping opportunities, Mount Wilson Wilderness is the perfect getaway from primitive camping getaways and nature observation. This Bureau of Land Management wilderness in Arizona is located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, and can be easily accessed via Highway 93 along several routes. Be prepared to explore the wilderness on foot or on your horse because no vehicles are allowed within the wilderness boundaries.

Primitive and free camping is open to all at Mount Wilson Wilderness, in accordance with BLM guidelines and regulations. If you’re interested, ensure you have all you’ll need for the trip because no facilities nor maintained campground are available near the wilderness. The Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument is another nearby destination where primitive camping is available.

This BLM property offers various opportunities to have fun, ranging from nature observation to wildlife and bird watching, hiking and horseback riding, as well as sightseeing. As this BLM park is surrounded by Lake Mead National Recreation Area, additional things to do here include swimming, biking, boating, cycling, and fishing.

RV Rentals in Mount Wilson Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

Mount Wilson Wilderness is sited in Arizona, 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, with the main access point being via Highway 93 that runs west of the park. There are two access points to this BLM property – Missouri Spring Access and Cabin Site Access. To come in through Missouri Spring Road, turnoff points are off Temple Bar Road and Road #130. A jeep trail road leads to the park off Temple Bar Road if you wish to use the Cabin Site Access to the park. All the roads that lead to this BLM wilderness require high clearance, two-wheel drive vehicles at least, because of the dirt roads.

Motorized equipment and vehicles are not allowed within the wilderness, so as you approach the wilderness area, look out for signs and posts that indicate the wilderness boundary so that you can find an appropriate parking space for your vehicle. Thereafter, your adventure through the wilderness will either be on foot or on a horse.

There are no direct public transportation services to this park. Should you wish to enjoy recreational vehicle camping nearby, equipment rental services can be found at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Mount Wilson Wilderness

Campsites in Mount Wilson Wilderness

Reservations camping

Lake Mead NRA Campgrounds

Plenty of camping options are provided at Lake Mead Recreation Area for visitors. The campgrounds in the recreation area offer tent camping, RV camping, and backcountry camping opportunities within campsites that are available by reservation and on first-come, first-served basis. Most of the developed campgrounds are open year-round and accommodate RVs and trailers.

Amenities in the campgrounds include full hookup options for RVs (electric, water, and sewage), picnic tables, fire grill, potable water, and toilets. Trailer dump stations are also provided.

The maximum length of trailers and RVs that can be accommodated in the campgrounds is 45 feet. Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.

For backcountry camping, motor vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATV), all-terrain cycles (ATC), and off-highway vehicles (OHV) are allowed.

Seasonal activities in Mount Wilson Wilderness

Off-Season

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Well-known as the first and largest national recreation area in the US, Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a popular destination among visitors and campers at Mount Wilson Wilderness. This is owing to the abundant opportunities available for recreational activities such as swimming, boating, hiking, cycling, fishing and many more. The beautiful landscapes such as canyons, valleys, and mountains, as well as two vast lakes (Lake Mean and Lake Mohave) are also additional attractive features in the recreation area.

Sightseeing

Plenty of scenic spots offer good sightseeing opportunities within Mount Wilson Wilderness. The high country areas along Wilson Ridge, the most dominant landscape in the terrain, is one of the sites where vantage point views are enjoyed by campers and adventurers in the wilderness.

Rising more than 3,000 ft above the wilderness’ desert floor, this spot offers amazing views of Lake Mead, badlands, cliffs, deserts and mountains in the distance. It’s wise to have a set of binoculars for an even more enhanced viewing experience.

Bird Viewing

Bird viewing enthusiasts commonly visit Mount Wilson Wilderness to pursue their recreational interests, thanks to the abundant bird species that roam the park’s skies and areas. Look out for black-throated sparrow, ladder-backed woodpecker, phainopepla, golden eagle, and American kestrel.

You may also catch a glimpse of the common raven, bushtits, red-tailed hawk, black-tailed gnatcatcher, and turkey vulture too. Your bird guide book and binoculars are all you need to enjoy this refreshing and exciting activity at the park.

In-Season

Fauna

As soon as you approach Mount Wilson Wilderness area from US Highway 93, you’ll be greeted by a waterless countryside and landscapes that may look incapable of supporting living creatures.

However, on getting to the park, you will find out that nothing could be further from the truth, because the wilderness area is home to more than one hundred desert bighorn sheep as well reptiles such as yellow-backed spiny lizard, desert tortoises, and Mojave patch-nosed snake. A few feral burros also inhabit the area.

Flora

Beautiful plants and trees decorate Mount Wilson Wilderness’ corridors, and flora enthusiasts are pleased with the way different parts of the park feature different plant communities. If you explore the lower-elevation flats in the park, you’ll come across vegetation such as white bursage and creosote bush. In spring and early summer, this area is filled with blooming wildflowers. The higher elevation areas in the park, on the other hand, are dominated by Mojave yucca. Cholla, bunchgrasses, prickly pear cactus are some other flora species present on the landscape.

Hiking

Hiking is a common pastime at Mount Wilson Wilderness. Even though the only designated trail available at this BLM property in Arizona is the Missouri Spring Trail which takes hikers along a historic mining route for about three miles. Other hiking opportunities are also available. You could decide to hike to the summit of Mount Wilson from both the east and west sides. Also, various major washes are frequented by visitors looking for an easy stroll or off-trail hikes in the wilderness.