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Darwin Falls Wilderness

Darwin Falls Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Darwin Falls Wilderness
Map showing the location of Darwin Falls Wilderness
Location Inyo County, California, USA
Nearest city Darwin, CA
Area 8,190 acres (3,310 ha)[1]
Established October 31, 1994 (1994-October-31)
Governing body Bureau of Land Management


  • Geology 1
  • Darwin Falls 2
  • Death Valley National Park 3
  • Darwin Hills 4
  • History of Darwin Falls Wilderness 5
  • Access 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The Darwin Falls Wilderness is the area adjacent to Darwin Falls, it has a unique location in the northern Mojave Desert, just west of Death Valley National Park. The Darwin falls Wilderness is a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System rooted by the California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103-433) and guided by the Bureau of Land Management. The Darwin Falls Wilderness Area was founded on October 31, 1994 totaling up to 8,176 acres of land.[1][2] The Darwin Wilderness is made up of several distinct landmarks, including The Darwin Plateau, an area between The Inyo Mountains to the north, and the Coso Range to the south. The Wilderness Area is also near the Darwin Hills, a mountain range in Inyo County and the Argus Range, west of the Panamint Range.

Darwin Falls

Darwin falls, which the Wilderness is ultimately known for, is a sort of oasis on the park's western edge, that has a waterfall flowing year-round in a narrow gorge into a large pond of cool water surrounded by trees and mossy rocks. Though swimming is prohibited to protect wildlife, the lush environment offers protection from the oppressive heat, which averages 100 degrees in May and attracts some 80 species of birds.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley was a enormous natural obstacle that pioneers, settlers, and miners alike had to face entering California during the Gold Rush of 1849. It's extreme temperatures and harsh living environments made the valley an undesirable place to settle, yet the mysterious land had hopeful 49ers exploring the desert.[3] Death Valley National Park is the largest national park outside of Alaska, it contains the lowest, hottest, driest location in the western hemisphere.

Darwin Hills

Darwin Hills is a collection of mountain ranges in Inyo County and the Argus Range. The Darwin District includes several mines distributed throughout an area surrounding about nine miles in the Darwin Hills. [4] Most of the mining operated on the mountain was done by the Anaconda Company in the Darwin Mine; however, no mines in the district are currently active today. The district is particularly famous for its amount of scheelite crystals, but the mines have also made $29 million off of lead, silver, zinc, tungsten, and copper.

History of Darwin Falls Wilderness

The entire Darwin Falls Wilderness, was named after the famous Erasmus Darwin French, an explorer and adventurer from New York, who upon traveling to southern California opened a mining town in Inyo County. The residents there named the small town after Dr. French- Darwin, California in 1874. Erasmus Darwin French lead many expeditions into the unchartered territories of Death Valley in search for silver in the Lost Gunsight Mine [5], but was unsuccessful on all expeditions. The route he traveled would later lay out trails for tourists to explore the valley.

Since of 1994, The Darwin Falls Wilderness has been managed by the Bureau of Land Management in California and is a part of the 110 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System.[6] Camping has been allowed inside the Wilderness area; however, no motorized vehicles are allowed inside the Wilderness. Vehicles must be parked outside the wilderness boundary; set 30 feet back.


The nearest settlement is the community of Darwin, California. Access to this wilderness is via State Route 190 through Panamint Valley approximately 30 miles east of Olancha and along the road into Darwin or down the Darwin Canyon Road. The primary access point is Darwin Canyon Road halfway between Darwin and Olancha, California.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Darwin Falls Wilderness". Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  2. ^ "Darwin Falls Wilderness". Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved 2012-03-23. 
  3. ^ "Death Valley National Park". Desert USA. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Darwin District, Darwin Hills, Inyo Co., California, USA". Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  5. ^ feller, walter. "Darwin Falls Wilderness". Digital Desert. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "'s Darwin Falls Wilderness Fact Sheet". Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Darwin Falls Wilderness map". Retrieved 2012-03-23. 

External links

  • Official Darwin Falls Wilderness Area website. Bureau of Land Management.
  • Darwin Falls Wilderness map. Bureau of Land Management.
  • Darwin Falls Wilderness photographs. Bureau of Land Management.
  • Darwin Falls Wilderness.

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