The Trona Pinnacles is one of the most unusual geological features in the California Desert Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate (tufa) that formed underwater. They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side.
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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Grass Valley Wilderness

Map
Legal Description
7.5 Topo Map 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

Size: 30,121 acres. Grass Valley

Location: San Bernardino County; 20 miles southeast of Ridgecrest, California (Note: Boundary setbacks from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

Area Description : Grass Valley covers nearly three-quarters of this area and is the main topographic feature of this wilderness. A series of scattered hills, reddish-brown to yellow in appearance and gently rising to elevations from 200 to 600 feet above the desert valley floor, lie across the western portion of the area. Vegetation is typical of a creosote bush scrub community with a scattering of Joshua trees. Wildlife values in the wilderness include raptor foraging in and desert tortoise and Mojave ground squirrel habitat.

Getting There : Access to this wilderness is via U.S. Highway 395 immediately north of Red Mountain and along Red Mountain-Trona Road to Steam Well Road (RM1444), or via 395 south of Red Mountain and along Twenty Mule Team Road (EF455), Cuddeback Road (EF473). A vehicle corridor transects this wilderness. Visitors should check road conditions before driving.

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

Additional Information :

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.

Maps:

 

  • Desert Access Guide:
    • Cuddeback Lake
       
  • USGS 7.5 Quadrangle Maps:
    • Bird Spring
    • Blackwater Well
    • Cuddeback Lake
    • Fremont Peak

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Bureau of Land Management
Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Rd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Phone: (760) 384-5400
Fax: (760) 384-5499
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
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