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 today praised Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) for introducing important legislation that would conserve more than 58,000 acres of public lands in Colorado’s Eagle and Summit Counties including approximately 40,000 acres of wilderness and more than 18,000 acres as special management areas.  
  • Michael Reinemer
    To mark the 50th year since the signing of the Wilderness Act in 1964, the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment and The Wilderness Society will host a conference on September 4 and 5 at the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. “Celebrating the Great Law: The Wilderness Act at 50” will feature prominent authors, professors, historians, activists and Colorado’s poet laureate.  
  • cate tanenbaum

    Wilderness Society applauds House for moving beyond ‘gridlock’ but says new amendments lead legislation astray

    The Wilderness Society today praised the House Natural Resources Comamittee for advancing Wilderness designations for Washington state and Nevada but worries House legislation departs too significantly from more locally supported counterpart bills in the Senate.