The 87,900-acre Paiute Wilderness, several miles southwest of St. George, Utah, dominates the northwest portion of the Arizona Strip. It is separated from the Beaver Dam Mountains Wilderness to the north by Interstate 15. The Virgin Mountains form the backbone of this area rising over 5,600 feet from the desert floor. Mt. Bangs, the highest peak in the area at 8,012 feet, provides a commanding view of the area and the Basin and Range country to the west.
The area's vegetation varies, ranging from ponderosa on top of Mt. Bangs, through pinyon forests, to scrub oak and sagebrush, and at the area's perimeter, Joshua trees, yucca and barrel cactus. These ecotypes host over 250 animal species including mule deer, mountain lion, desert bighorn sheep and desert tortoise. The deep canyons have several beautiful and secret places with water which attract campers and backpackers.
Learn more about the monument and plan your visit: www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/wildareas/pai...
Photo: Bob Wick, BLM California