California Desert

With spectacular pastel vistas, spring wildflowers and popular destinations like Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks, the California desert is an amazing place to discover.

Why the California Desert

The California desert is a spectacular panorama of the American West. It includes stunning sand dunes, carpets of Mojave wildflowers, bighorn sheep and desert tortoise.

Gems like Joshua Tree and Death Valley can be preserved with Senator Feinstein’s California Desert Protection Act. Our work to pass this would protect about 1.6 million acres of stunning public wildlands.

Work we are doing

The California Desert Protection Act would preserve many stunning areas of the Mojave, including:

Mojave Trails National Monument

The act would protect 941,000 acres of wildlands as a new national monument, bridging Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. It would include:

  • Pisgah lava flow
  • Amboy Crater
  • Kelso Dunes wilderness
  • Historic Route 66

Sand to Snow National Monument

The act would create a 134,000-acre monument from the desert floor in the Coachella Valley to the forested peak of Mount San Gorgonio, Southern California’s tallest mountain. The monument would include:

  • Wildlife corridors linking Joshua Tree National Park to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
  • Bighorn sheep and desert tortoise habitat
  • The Whitewater River

Joshua Tree National Park

Scientists predict that Joshua trees may disappear as climate change alters their habitat. This act would add more than 2,800 acres to Joshua Tree National Park's northern boundary – an area rich in Joshua trees, granite peaks and habitat for desert tortoise and other rare and endangered species.  

Death Valley National Park

The act would add about 46,000 acres to Death Valley National Park, including a southern section and geological gem known as the “Bowling Alley.”

Mojave National Preserve

The act would add 29,000 acres to preserve including a former gold mining area that has been reclaimed.

Crucial rivers and creeks

The act would protect 76 miles of beautiful portions of Deep Creek, Amargosa River, Surprise Canyon and other rivers and creeks.

Five new wilderness areas

The act would create new wilderness designated areas in Death Valley National Park and other federal lands.

Our Partners

We couldn't do our work in the California Desert without the help of local partners. Learn about our partnerships. 


  • Michael Reinemer

    The Wilderness Society praises Congress for passing the Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act (H.R. 356 / S. 27). The legislation provides for the exchange of roughly 20,000 acres of Utah’s mineral rights from ecologically and culturally sensitive lands in the Desolation Canyon region of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation for federal mineral rights in another part of the reservation.

  • Michael Reinemer

    The draft House Interior and Environment Appropriations bill released today is a clear improvement from previous years, though it still misses the mark on several key conservation, climate and public lands needs and is laden with numerous policy provisions or “riders” that have no place in the appropriations process.

  • Michael Reinemer

    On Wednesday, The Wilderness Society presented lifetime conservation achievement awards to Representatives George Miller, Jim Moran and Rush Holt, who collectively represent 80 years of support for conservation of some of America’s most stunning landscapes and protection of the country’s clean air and water.  All three members of Congress have announced their plans to retire at the end of the current session.

    Rep. George Miller (California – 11th District)