Photo: Ken Lund, Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs (Some rights reserved)

First look at Avi Kwe Ame in the heart of the Mojave Desert

Google Maps

Wikipedia: Spirit Mountain, known as Avi Kwa’ Ame in Mojave, is a mountain within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Laughlin, Nevada. It is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places as a sacred place to Indian tribes in Southern Nevada. Spirit Mountain is the highest point in the Spirit Mountain Wilderness and is the highest point in the Newberry Mountains with the summit peak at 5,639 feet (1,719 m). Environmentalists in Nevada are seeking designation of a significant area to the west of the mountain as a national monument. The monument would be named after the peak as the mountain is visible from almost the entire area.

Avi Kwa Ame to be Nevada’s next national monument, Biden promises – Review Journal
As a national monument, Avi Kwa Ame would also be a local refuge – Nevada Current
County urges Biden, Congress to recognize Avi Kwa Ame – RJ
President Biden Should Protect Sacred Lands – Sierra Club
New monument will make Nevada a leader in conservation – Nevada Independent


2022 Press Conference

Congresswoman Dina Titus, Commissioner Mike Naft, and the Honor Avi Kwa Ame Coalition call for the designation of #AviKwaAme as the next National Monument in southern Nevada.

Key Links The proposed Avi Kwa Ame (Ah-VEE kwa-meh) National Monument in Southern Nevada contains some of the most visually stunning, biologically diverse, and culturally significant lands in the entire Mojave Desert. For a full list of Avi Kwa Ame National Monument supporters, click here.

Stretching from the Newberry mountains in the east to the New York, South McCullough, Castle, and Piute mountains in the west, these lands feature dramatic peaks, scenic canyons, natural springs, sloping bajadas covered with ancient Joshua tree forests, unique grasslands, and a rich history of rock art and other cultural sites.

The entire area is considered sacred by ten Yuman speaking tribes as well as the Hopi and Chemehuevi Paiute. For the Yuman tribes, the area is tied to their creation, cosmology, and well-being. Spirit Mountain, called Avi Kwa Ame by the Mojave Tribe, is located on the eastern boundary of the Monument. It is designated a Traditional Cultural Property on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its religious and cultural importance.

Energy developers recently tried to build a large, 30,000-acre wind farm in the heart of this dramatic landscape and newly proposed project has heightened efforts to protect the region. Such development would forever scar these valuable lands and degrade their world-class habitat and nationally recognized cultural resources.

A coalition of tribes, local Searchlight, Boulder City and Laughlin residents, the Nevada Legislature, conservation groups, recreation interests, and others is working to establish the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument to permanently protect these treasured lands. Avi Kwa Ame is the Mojave name for Spirit Mountain and the surrounding landscape. The mountain, located on the eastern boundary of the proposed monument, and the surrounding landscape are sacred to twelve Native American tribes.

Recommended Listening
Elected officials, indigenous people push for new national monument in Clark County – Avi Kwa’ Ame — otherwise known as Spirit Mountain — lies just 80 miles south of Las Vegas, just northwest of Laughlin and east of U.S. Highway 95.

The push to protect sacred land in Nevada – Native America Calling – Tribes in Nevada are among those turning to the federal government to permanently protect almost 400,000 acres of land with a National Monument designation. The area known as Avi Kwa Ame is sacred or culturally significant to at least 10 tribes. There’s pressure from developers who want to establish wind energy farms that supporters of the protections say would significantly harm the beauty and cultural importance of the landscape.


Taylor Patterson (Bishop Paiute) – executive director of Native Voter Alliance Nevada

Nora McDowell (Fort Mojave Indian Tribe) – project manager for the Topock Remediation Project

Paul Jackson Jr. (member of Fort Mojave) – Mojave culture and language bearer and cultural artist

Elsewhere on the Web

Embedded Tweets

Spirit Mountain
Yuman–Cochimí languages
Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.