Clipper Mountain Wilderness Area

Essex, California USA

“See iconic Castle Dome”

The Clipper Mountain Wilderness encompasses 35,731 acres (approximate) of rugged yellow and dark brown, horizontally striped mesas; narrow canyons with hidden springs; and sparsely vegetated alluvial fans.  The small cluster of volcanic mountains is oriented northeast to southwest.  In the center, the most prominent ridge, Clipper Mountain, reaches an elevation of 4,625 feet before it dramatically drops off in series of sharp cliffs overlooking the Clipper and Fenner Valleys.  Castle Dome, a local landmark, can be clearly seen from Historic Route 66 to the south and east.  The vegetation types are predominantly creosote bush desert scrub and desert wash scrub.  In the spring, the alluvial fans turn yellow with brittlebush and other wildflowers.  Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including a herd of 40-50 bighorn sheep, coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, roadrunners, chucker, quail, prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards.  The entire wilderness is considered critical habitat for the threatened desert tortoise.

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Clipper Mountain Wilderness Area

Essex, California
USA

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