Jagged peaks and spires are incised by mazes of twisting canyons in a distinctive part of the Chocolate Mountains preserved as Indian Pass Wilderness. Desert cloudbursts pour water down the canyons into several tree-lined washes. One of the washes, Julian Wash, dominates the heart of the Wilderness, running east toward the Colorado River and giving this area the local nickname of "Julian Wash Country." The region is crowned by Quartz Peak at 2,200 feet in the western portion. Proximity to the Colorado River and the Arizona desert contributes to wildlife species not commonly found in California: Colorado River toad, great plains toad, tree lizard. Mule deer scamper over the Wilderness, and the mountains provide ideal homes for desert bighorn sheep. Wild horses and burros sometimes can be seen in the area. Imperial National Wildlife Refuge lies immediately to the east.

off road driving
10 months ago

Easy trail that goes through a notch, down a rocky hill and to the river. Scenic, mellow cruiser.