New Water Mountains Wilderness

Location and Description

The rugged 24,600 acre New Water Mountains Wilderness is 10 miles east of Quartzsite and about four miles south of Interstate 10. Located adjacent to and north of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness, this area is characterized by strings of craggy spires, sheer rock outcrops, natural arches, slickrock canyons and deep sandy washes.

A large volcanic butte(Black Mesa) rises 1,200 feet above the Ranegras Plain. It dominates the western part of the wilderness. Vegetation is sparse with saguaro, cerosote, ocotillo, and cholla dotting the hills and palo verde and ironwood lining the washes. The wilderness is important desert bighorn sheep habitat including the New Water and Dripping Springs lambing areas.

The wilderness offers many types of primitive recreation, such as extended backpacking and hiking trips, day hikes, and watching wildlife. Opportunities to photograph and hunt deer and desert bighorn sheep, landscape photography, and rock collecting are plentiful.



The western boundary of the wilderness can be accessed via the Gold Nugget Road south of Interstate 10 (exit 26). The north - central part of the wilderness can be reached by the Ramsey Mine Road south of Highway 60, The Kofa Wilderness forms the southern boundary of the New Water Mountains Wilderness.

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