From the Old Spanish Trail Highway north to the Nevada state line, Nopah Range Wilderness contains a good chunk of the Nopah Range in its eastern portion and a piece of the Resting Spring Range in its west. These ranges embody dramatic geologic landscapes, separated by the north-south Chicago Valley, a flat expanse with numerous winding, light-colored washes. Elevations vary from about 1,800 feet to the 6,395-foot summit of Nopah Peak in the northern section. Explorers will find a desert symphony of dry mountains, hills, and alluvial fans, badlands, playas, plains, and river washes. Creosote, cactuses, yucca, and other desert shrubs cover the bajadas, adding hints of color and life to the barren mountains that rise above. Wild burros and horses roam the Chicago Valley, and desert bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, golden eagles, and prairie falcons are not uncommon visitors.

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