Spirit Mountain

Spirit Mountain
"Spirit Mountain from west" by Stan Shebs is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

"Spirit Mountain is revered by many of the area’s first people, who tell stories of their ancestors who they feel were created on the mountain; the traditions state that two brothers took clay and formed it into avatars representing themselves. The brothers baked the clay; the first batch they baked too long and these people were too dark, they were sent away to live somewhere else. The second batch, they didn’t bake enough and they turned out to be too light, and they too were sent away. The third batch turned out just right, and they became the Native Americans.

There are many petroglyphs (rock drawings or etchings) left by these early tribes. According to a 1993 Fort Mojave Indian Tribe publication, the Mojave Indians are the Pipa Aha Macave – the people by the river. Their earthly origin is Spirit Mountain, which once was part of the ancestral lands which the Mojave tribe occupied. Their spirit mentor, Mutavilya, created the Colorado River, its plants and animals, and instructed the Pipa Aha Macave in the arts of civilization. Native Americans in the Searchlight area were the Southern Paiute, Chemehuevi and Mojave.

Spirit Mountain has many moods; its rugged granite geographical composition and enormous boulders are the backdrop to the wide range of hues and tones that color the seasonal changes of the desert weather.

Christmas Tree Pass road runs throughout Grapevine Canyon, along the base of Spirit Mountain. Local folklore tells us that in the late 1800’s prospectors decorated the many juniper and piñon pines in the pass during Christmas season. This tradition of decorating the trees continued for many years. During the rainy season, Grapevine Canyon is home to small waterfalls, and many wild grape vines."

(Searchlight Community Park Marker)

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property in 1999.

Listed as a National Monument in 2023 (Avi Kwa Ame National Monument).

Bridge Canyon Wilderness established in 2002.

South McCullough Wilderness established in 2002.

Spirit Mountain Wilderness established in 2002.

Wee Thump Joshua Tree Wilderness established in 2002.

Located at the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.