Just southeast of Joshua Tree National Park, the Chuckwalla Mountains rise like an island in a sea of sand and stone, a fascinating rock fortress of seemingly endless landforms, geologic textures, and delightful colors. Steep-walled canyons, broad valleys, washes of all sizes, solitary rock outcroppings, and vast expanses of desert combine to create a constantly changing panorama for the traveler. The wildlife and plantlife are as diverse as the topography, characteristic of both the Mojave and Colorado desertlands. Bighorn sheep, deer, wild burros, birds of prey, snakes, foxes, and coyotes make the area their home, and the bajada region in the southwest corner of the Wilderness provides a crucial habitat for the desert tortoise. Ocotillo, cholla, yucca, creosote, barrel cactus, and foxtail cactus cover the landscape in a gardenlike array. This is an excellent area for camping, ridge scrambling, peak bagging, and wash exploring in a desert Wilderness. If it's solitude you crave, the chances are great you'll be alone here.

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