Open desert in Mesquite Valley
Mesquite Wilderness is a 44,805-acre property on the edge of the Mojave Desert. The wilderness includes parts of the Mesquite Mountains, Mesquite Valley and the Clark Mountains. The North Mesquite Mountains Wilderness is to the north and west with Stateline Wilderness to the east.
The Calrk Mountains tend to be rough, sharp and rocky while the Mesquite Mountains are more gentle. The Clarks are also quite porous and many small caves have been found there.
Lower elevations are vegetated with a creosotebush-sagebrush community while upper elevations offer more pinyon and juniper woodlands. There are also several barrel cactus gardens around. Wildlife includes a large herd of bighorn sheep, coyotes, ground squirrels, black-tailed jackrabbits, kangaroo rats and more than a few rattlesnakes. Among the birds are prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks, quail, golden eagle and roadrunner. The southwestern part of the wilderness is cricitcal habitat for the desert tortoise.
To get there: most folks take I-15 to the Cima Road exit. There they take the Excelsior Mine/Kingston Road north for about 10 miles to a wilderness kiosk on the right side of the road.
Further up the hill the chaparral gets dense