Looks can be deceiving. Driving across miles of creosote flats, you approach the Mount Wilson Wilderness in Arizona’s Black Mountains, snugged up against the Lake Mead National Recreation Area along the Arizona-Nevada border. In the distance you see a long dun-colored ridge, and your mind free associates a kind of verbal desert roll-call: hot, dry, waterless, hostile to life.
When you arrive at the wilderness boundary, your impressions are confirmed. Typical of the Mohave Desert, vegetation is sparse—yucca, cholla, creosote, catclaw acacia, mesquite, snakeweed, blackbrush, bursage, various cacti— plants programmed for survival in the harshest deserts. But hiking across the bajadas you encounter abundant wildlife: the horned lark, ash-throated flycatcher, raven, verdin, gopher snake, coyote, horned lizard, desert tortoise, mockingbird, red-speckled rattlesnake, harvest mouse, jackrabbit, bobcat, mountain lion, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and turkey vulture. This trail guide covers an area with no maintained trails.
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