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La Madre 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: 47279
State Region: Southern Nevada
County Regions: Clark   


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service
Local District: Las Vegas Field Office
Contact Info: (702) 515-5000
4701 North Torrey Pines Dr  Las Vegas, NV89130
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Area Description

The LaMadre Wilderness is a rugged complex of deep canyons, draws, summits, and ridges, set off by the deep green of a pinyon-juniper cover. This is home to gorgeous sandstone escarpments, rugged canyons and limestone peaks that draw 1.3 million visitors to neighboring Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area each year.

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

Elevations up to 6,000 feet provide habitat for a variety of plant communities from Southern Mojave desert shrub to sub-alpine environments of white fir and ponderosa pine.

Natural water impoundments in the sandstone provide near-perennial water sources that support a variety of wildlife. A sizable herd of bighorn sheep live here.

Hiking, rock climbing and photography are outstanding here due to the unique features, variety of destinations, and levels of challenge.

Red and buff colored sandstone formations in the Calico Hills, White Rock Hills, Brownstone Basin and Little Red Rock are of geological, ecological and scenic interest. The cross-bedded sandstone demonstrates their origin as former sand dunes. The brightly colored sandstone contrasts sharply with the rugged backdrop of spectacular limestone cliffs. LaMadre Mountain and its sheer cliffs on the southeast side are the dominant geologic feature. The Keystone Thrust of the older limestone of this range has pushed over the younger sandstone; a feature dramatically evident above Brownstone Basin. This site is internationally regarded as the single finest example of a thrust fault.

Prehistoric sites include rock art panels, agave roasting pits, rock shelters, camp sites, milling sites, and lithic scatters. Brownstone Canyon is listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to the concentration and diversity of cultural sites and the occurrence of rare polychrome pictographs.

Wildlife: western mastiff bat, big free-tailed bat, Rocky Mountain elk, desert bighorn sheep, canyon wren, cactus wren, rock wren, prairie falcon, ringtail, coachwhip, common raven, verdin

Seven hundred million years ago the La Madre Mountains were sediments accumulating on the sea floor.  (c) Brian Beffort

Ancient sea sediments meet fossilized sandstone in the La Madre Mountain Wilderness.  (c) Pete Dronkers

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