Sheephole Valley Wilderness

A large unnamed wash runs through the Sheephole Valley. BLM Photo
Legal Description
7.5 Topo Map 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Photo Gallery


Size: 187,846 acres. Sheephole Valley

Location: San Bernardino County; 20 miles east of Twentynine Palms, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Area Description : The 194,861-acre (approximate) Sheephole Valley Wilderness is a perfect representation of the basin and range topography typical in the Mojave Desert.  The area consists of the northwest to southeast trending granitic boulder strewn Sheep Hole and Calumet Mountains. The Sheep Hole Mountains, the larger and steeper range, rises to an elevation of 4,613 feet, while the Calumets rise to 3,732 feet above sea level.  Sheep Hole Valley nests between the two ranges.  At the valley’s lowest point, around 1832 feet above sea level, there are two small dry lake beds.  Sand dune formations can be found at the southwest end of the Sheep Hole range and northeastern portion of the Calumets.  Dominant vegetation is typical of much of the Mojave Desert, consisting of creosote bush scrub that gradually changes into a mixed desert scrub at higher elevations.  Around the dry lake beds, salt-tolerant plants such as pickleweed, inkweek, and saltbush are found.  Borrego milkvetch occurs in the sand dunes and is listed by the California Native Plant Society as rare and endangered in California.  Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including bighorn sheep, the threatened desert tortoise, coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards. 

Getting There : To access this wilderness, travel approximately 20 miles east of Twentynine Palms, California on State Route 62. The wilderness boundary is just north of the highway's right- of-way for the next 21 miles.

Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the landowner and do not use these lands without permission.

Additional Information :

Area Management

Permits are required for commercial or organized activities.

Recreational Opportunities

Hiking, horseback riding, hunting, camping, rock hounding, photography, and backpacking are examples of activities that can be enjoyed in this wilderness. 

Climate and Special Equipment Needs

Temperatures are fairly mild in the early spring, late fall, and winter; generally 30-80°F.  Summer temperatures are extremely hot.  Temperatures are commonly over 115°F and can get well over 120°F.  Always carry water; desert springs are not reliable water sources.

Signs indicating "Wilderness" and "Closed Road" or "Closed Route" are placed at various intervals.  Vehicles can be parked outside the wilderness boundary; however, the boundary is set back 30 feet from unmaintained dirt roads and 300 feet on paved roads.

Mechanized or motorized vehicles are NOT PERMITTED in a wilderness.

Hunting, fishing, and non-commercial trapping are allowed under state and local laws.

Pet are allowed, but please keep your pets under control at all times.

Horses are permitted, however you may be required to carry feed.

Removal, disturbance, or attempting to remove archaelogical materials is a felony.  Selling, receiving, purchasing, transporting, exchanging or offering to do so is prohibited by law.

CAMPING: Camping is permitted, limited to 14 days.  After 14 days, campers must relocate at least 25 miles from previous site.

Help BLM preserve California's fragile deserts.  Please park your vehicle or set up camp in previously disturbed sites.

Gathering wood for campfires, when permitted, is limited to dead and down materials.  Do not cut live vegetation.

The BLM encourages all desert recreationists and travelers exploring public lands, not only within southern California but through the west, to use propylene glycol based antifreeze/coolant in their touring and recreation vehicles.  Proven safer, it will have minimal impacts on the wildlife and the environment should a leak occur.


  • Desert Access Guide:
    • Sheephole Mountains
  • USGS 7.5 Quadrangle Maps:
    • Bristol Lake North West
    • Bristol Lake SouthWest
    • Cadiz Lake
    • Cadiz Lake North West
    • Cadiz Valley North West
    • Cadiz Valley South East
    • Cadiz Valley South West
    • Calumet Mine
    • Calumet Mountains
    • Clarks Pass
    • Dale Lake
    • East of Dale Lake
    • New Dale


Bureau of Land Management
Needles Field Office
1303 S. Hwy 95
Needles, CA 92363
Phone: (760) 326-7000
Fax: (760) 326-7099
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
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