Description - Needles BLM source area has a component of three deserts: the Colorado, the Eastern Mojave, and the Great Basin. The resource area also has the Sonoran Desert life zone interspersed within the Colorado Desert, in particular the Whipple Mountains. The area supports a wide variety of wildlife including unique species such as the roadrunner and the majestic desert bighorn sheep. The more typical species include gamble's quail, chukar partridge, mourning dove, black-tailed jackrabbit, skit fox, coyote, badger, and bobcat. In total, Needles embraces more than 1.3 million areas of wilderness habitat.
Copyright: - US Bureau of Land Management
View of the Stepladder Mountains
One of the most unique features on the BLM is Amboy Crater. This crater stands alone in the Mojave Desert with no other evidence of recent volcanism close by. A combination of factors contributes to the significance of Amboy Crater and its resulting designation as a National Natural Landmark, recognized in 1973. It consists of 5,760 acres of a very symmetrical volcanic cinder cone, breached on one side where basaltic lava poured out over a vast area. The inside of the 250-foot-high crater contains two lava dams thus forming small lava lakes. Amboy Crater is located 2.5 miles west of the small desert town of Amboy along National Trails Highway formerly known as historic "Route 66."
- The Bureau of Land Management has responsibility for 9.5 million acres of public lands in the southern California Desert. The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 gave special wilderness designation to 69 individual BLM areas covering 3.6 million acres. Eighteen of those areas are partly or completely within the boundary of Needles Resource Area totaling more than 1.3 million acres. Recreation in the wilderness is restricted to light use such as hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, primitive camping, rock hounding, nature study, photography, rock climbing, spelunking, and hunting. The use of motorized or mechanized vehicles and equipment is not permitted in designated wilderness.
The Colorado River from Lake Mohave to Parker Dam attracts many visitors to the area. Attractions include a variety of birds and animals, Indian petroglyphs, historical sites, parks and marinas, marshes, mountain peaks and canyons. Land along the river is both publicly and privately owned. Fishing is very good on the river and in some backwater areas. Species consist of striped bass, large and smallmouth bass, channel and flathead cat, crappie, and for the skilled angler, rainbow trout.
There are many camping areas within Needles BLM Field Office jurisdiction. Dispersed camping is offered throughout the area in addition to developed campgrounds some of which are managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, San Bernardino County Parks, and California Parks and Recreation.
Moabi Regional Park is on the banks of the Colorado River just 11 miles southeast of Needles. Here you can camp, fish, boat, swim, water ski and relax in one of the premiere recreation areas of Southern California. Also in the region is Havasu National Wildlife Refuge that embraces 37,515 acres for the protection of wildlife and habitats along the lower Colorado River.
Rockhounding is one of many recreational pursuits on BLM public lands. Collecting small, noncommercial quantities of rock by rock hounds is allowed free of charge. Commercial collecting for the purpose of sale or barter is not allowed without special authorization.
Recreation - Recreational opportunities in this area include archeological and cultural sites, bird watching, camping, fishing, hunting and target shooting, OHV use, wildflower viewing, river sports, rock hounding, historic Route 66 touring, multi-use trails, wildlife viewing, and wilderness exploration.
Climate - Days in south-central California are typically clear with less than 25 percent humidity. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high of 85 degrees F and a low of 50 degrees F respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 degrees F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations. Summers are hot, over 100 degrees F during the day and not cooling much below 75 degrees F until the early morning.
The Needles Field Office is located is the southern portion of the Mojave Desert.