The Wylie Mountains begin four miles southeast of Van Horn and end eleven miles southeast in southwestern Culberson County (their center point is 30°59' N, 104°41' W). Their highest elevation is 5,264 feet above sea level. The mountains are an uplifted block of Permian carbonate rocks 250 million years old. The area's steep, rocky terrain with local deep, dense dissections is surfaced by shallow, stony soils in which grow oak, live oak, juniper, mesquite, piñon, and grasses. The mountains are named for pioneer settler Robert K. Wylie, who arrived in Van Horn in 1885.