The Muddy Mountains consist of rugged limestone
cliffs and canyons. A thrust fault has overlain
limestone over sandstone. Sandstone is exposed
through a FENSTER, or erosion-caused "window,"
through the limestone at Bowl of Fire and Hidden
Valley. Conglomerate rock forms light brown cliffs
at the Gale Hills. Gypsum-bearing soils of brown and
red hues are present in some of the lowest
elevations, including Anniversary Narrows at 1,900 feet.
Elevations throughout the Muddy Mountains Wilderness
range from about 1,700 (at Lovell Wash) to 5,400
feet (at Muddy Mountains High Point.) The dominant
desert plant of this area is Creosote brush.The
only trees present are desert catalpa and a few
cottonwoods. Rare plants, including Las Vegas
buckwheat and bearpoppy, occur in the gypsum-rich
soils at the lowest elevations. Animals include desert
tortoise, a few burros and wild horses, and desert
As evidenced by the deep red, yellow, magenta and
orange hues, colourful sandstone outcrops are found
in Bowl of Fire and Hidden Valley. Anniversary
Narrows is a small slot canyon in limestone.
Approximately 7 miles of trail are designated in the
Wilderness at Hidden Valley, the Gale Hills and
You won't find trails leading to the two highest
points in the Wilderness: Muddy Mountains High
Point (on the left), and Muddy Peak (on the right.)
You can see a portion of the Northshore Road in
this picture. The darker rocks scattered upon
the slopes in the foreground are volcanics from the Hamblin Mountain paleo-volcano.
March 21, 2008