Boy Deep Canyon

Reserve Facilities

Boyd Center

A meeting center, dorm room accommodations, a kitchen/common room, 2 restrooms with showers, and separate lab rooms comprise the facilities at Boyd Center. The Wilbur Mayhew Building can house up to 14 researchers (2-4 bunks/room). All of the facilities at Boyd Center have wireless internet connectivity and cell phone reception.

Fees to stay at the dorm are minimal:
UC-affiliated users—$12.50/person/night
Non-UC users—$15.00/person/night

Lab facilities

Our laboratory facilities offer basic equipment and a temperature-controlled environment for laboratory work complementing field studies. There are currently no additional fees charged for routine laboratory use. However, heavy use of air conditioning and energy-intensive equipment will be subject to additional fees of $5 per day.

Agave Hill

The Agave Hill facility is located along the western edge of the Deep Canyon gorge at an elevation of 820 meters (2,700 feet). It is easily accessed through a locked gate along State Highway 74. Agave Hill provides researchers with a secure study site at an elevation not easily accessed from Boyd Center.

Rainfall and air temperature records collected from this site date back to 1973. The plant community here is rocky creosote bush scrub infused with some desert chaparral components, Mojave yucca, and big galleta grass. 

Agave Hill has a facility made of a steel shipping container remodeled to contain a lab room, composting toilet, and bunk room that sleeps four. Electricity and air conditioning are available, but water is not available at the site. Researchers must bring their own water for both domestic and research use. The facility has wireless interned connectivity, but cell phone reception is spotty.

Photo of the Agave Hill facility, which is a shipping container
The Agave Hill facility.


Our campground is designed to accommodate field classes and features four shade structures (with picnic tables and barbecues), non-potable water, and a toilet. Drinking water must be supplied by users. There is a fire ring, but users must bring their own firewood: material from the reserve may not be collected for campfires.

Campground facility

A Teaching Trail loops up to a ridge where students can stop and note several features including the plant life and geological aspects specific to the area.  In addition, the view of flood deposits offers a unique opportunity to study the often-forgotten role of water in the desert ecosystem.

Our five pitfall trap arrays can be useful for live-trapping reptiles and terrestrial arthropods. One array is located adjacent to the campsite. Four others are positioned along the teaching trail in different locales: two in different sandy washes, one along the ridge, and one on a rocky slope. Contact staff prior to arrival to obtain coordinates for the pitfall arrays and facilitate opening and closing of the traps.

Fees for using the campground are minimal:
UC-affiliated users—$2.00/person/night
Non-UC users—$4.00/person/night                                                                                                    

 Santa Rosa Cabin

photo of a rustic log cabin in the mountains
The Santa Rosa cabin

The Santa Rosa cabin is located between Toro Peak and Santa Rosa Peak at an elevation of 2,347 m (7,700 ft). This rustic structure is owned by the US Forest Service with a Conditional Use Permit held by Friends of Desert Mountains. Its use for research requires permission from Friends of Desert Mountains. The Director of Boyd Deep Canyon should be consulted to request permission and facilitate arrangements with the Friends.

The cabin is usually accessible to high clearance vehicles from April to November, but access is restricted by snow during winter months. Users should regard the cabin as a backcountry weather shelter and plan to be self sufficient.