Bighorn Mountain Wilderness

The Bighorn Mountain Wilderness was established as part of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994. It encompasses a total of 38,342 acres, and is located in southern California, within the rugged Bighorn Mountains and the eastern foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. The Wilderness supports numerous resident and migratory birds, rich riparian springs which are unique to a desert environment, and carbonate plant habitats that consist of many rare and endangered species.

The integrity of the Bighorn Mountain Wilderness adds an abundance of panoramic vistas, solitude and primitive experiences to the San Bernardino National Forest visitor. This area is managed to ensure an everlasting Wilderness resource for the enjoyment of present and future generations. 

In keeping with the primitive nature of a wilderness area, there are no developed trails, campgrounds, or other facilities in the Bighorn Mountain Wilderness. Please enjoy it and practice Leave No Trace ethics. Campfires are not allowed at any time, but you may have a gas stove with a free California Campfire Permit.

The Bighorn Mountain Wilderness is managed jointly by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

The Big Horn Wilderness was once territory belonging to the Serrano Indians. During the winter months they stayed in villages located at the foot of the mountains near permanent water sources. There were Serrano villages surrounding the San Bernardino Mountains. During the spring, summer, and fall they traveled to the mountains to hunt and collect plant foods, some of which was processed and stored in their villages to sustain them during the winter. Bighorn sheep were one of the larger game animals that they hunted. For food, the Serrano who lived on the north side of the San Bernardino Mountains depended on mesquite and piñon nuts plus yucca and cacti fruit as well as other seeds, roots, and bulbs. The Serrano are still here. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Highland is a Serrano clan and members are the descendants of the Serrano who lived in and around the mountains for thousands of years. They still come to the mountains every August to gather piñon nuts and visit their creation sites around Baldwin Lake.

For more information, please call the Big Bear Discovery Center at (909) 382-2790 (closed Tues/Wed).

Link to full size Bighorn Wilderness Map

Bighorn Wilderness Map, this is one of 8 Wilderness areas in the San Bernardino National Forest