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Spirit Mountain Wilderness

Wilderness Area Status

Designated Wilderness Area
Year Designated: 2002

Act or Law: Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002
Acres: 33518
State Region: Southern Nevada
County Regions: Clark   

Management

Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service
Local District: Alan Bible Visitor Center
Contact Info: (702) 293-8990
151 Lakeshore Scenic Drive  Las Vegas, NV89101
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Area Description

Spirit Mountain is a series of imposing granitic outcrops in the Newberry Mountains. Water sources are White Rock Wash and Pipe Spring. Elevations reach 5,939 feet.

Flora
Creosote bush scrub, mixed shrub-juniper woodland, and mesquite/catclaw communities in Sacatone Wash and Grapevine Canyon. This area contains one of the northernmost populations of smoke tree in Nevada. Typically, it is found in the Sonoran Desert. At lower elevations east of Christmas Tree Pass, desert scrub oak is established in several gullies.

Fauna
Mammals include desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, cactus mouse, canyon mouse, desert woodrat, long-tailed hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, peregrine falcon, cactus wren, Costa's hummingbird, Crissal thrasher and Bell's vireo.

Reptiles include western chuckwalla, fence lizard, Great Basin gopher snake, leopard lizard, Southwestern speckled rattlesnake, large spotted leopard lizard, Great Basin whiptail, desert iguana, zebra-tailed lizard, yellow-backed spiny lizard, Great Basin collared lizard, Mojave patch-nosed snake, Mojave rattlesnake, desert banded gecko, Western long-nosed snake, Mojave shovel-nosed snake and red coachwhip.

The desert tortoise finds critical habitat here.

Sensitive species include the California leaf-nosed bat, banded Gila monster, Townsend's big-eared bat, and Yuma myotis.

Cultural Significance
Spirit Mountain is significant to the Native Americans of the Mojave and Sonoran Desert regions as the center of their creation. The Pai groups (separate tribal entities) associated with the site include the Mojave, Wala Pai, Yavi 'Pai, Havasu 'Pai, Marakopa, Quechen, Pai 'Pai (in Mexico). The Hopi and Chemehuevi also consider this a significant religious / sacred site, but not a spiritual birthplace. There are no known archeological resources or identified physical evidence of traditional religious use within the area. Since traditional practitioners limited secular activities on the mountain, the absence of indigenous material highlights the significance of Spirit Mountain for Yuman-speaking people. It also suggests that the area was used exclusively for religious purposes.

The Spirit Mountain area has been designated a Traditional Cultural Property by the BLM and the National Park Service and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Along with the federal land managers, Spirit Mountain is monitored by the Aha'Mahv, a Fort Mojave group which conducts medicinal plant collecting in the area.

This wilderness is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands.

Wildlife:

The Spirit Mountain Wilderness in far southern Nevada  (c) Crystal DiPietro

Spirit Mountain.  (c) Peter Druschke

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