The rugged and extremely dissected Whipple Mountains lie adjacent to the Colorado River. The highest peak— Whipple Peak—rises to 4,130 feet. Spires, horns, cliffs, natural bridges, and countless deep canyons and washes all make this a visual treat. Indeed, the Whipples are among the most scenic mountains in the California desert. The Whipple Mountains are oriented in an east-west direction. The eastern half is composed of brick red volcanics and highly scenic eroded formations. Large areas of desert pavement cover portions of the western part of the wilderness. Fourteenmile- long Whipple Wash cuts through the heart of the range, has walls more than 1,000 feet high, and is sometimes compared with the canyons found in Zion National Park. Diverse vegetation covers these mountains, including ocotillo, brittlebush, and a wide variety of cactus such as Bigelow cholla, prickly pear, plus an occasional saguaro— one of three places in California where this cactus is found.
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