Ben, a young tracker living in the Southwest, is hired by wealthy businessman Madec to be his guide through the hostile desert basin called the Reach while he's hunting bighorn sheep. Things go tragically wrong when Madec accidentally shoots an old prospector. Attempting to cover up his crime, Madec tries to bribe Ben to dispose of the body and forget the incident, but Ben refuses, so Madec must eliminate his only witness. After sending Ben into the desert without clothing, food or water, Madec stalks him with his weapons and massive six-wheel-drive Mercedes truck, in a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse. But Ben uses his survival skills and his knowledge of the Reach to challenge Madec at his own game in an attempt to bring him to justice. Wounded and emotionally changed by the experience, Ben escapes the desert and goes to stay with his girlfriend at her college, but the Reach continues to haunt Ben, and Madec's shadow looms over them and threatens their fate.