The expansive Grass Valley covers nearly three-fourths of this Wilderness and ranks as its primary topographical feature. The area lies fairly flat, with a series of scattered hills, yellow to reddish brown in color, with elevations from 200 feet to 600 feet above the desert floor to the west.
You'll find a few Joshua trees, but the vegetation is dominated by a creosote bush scrub community. Raptors forage here, and desert tortoises and Mojave ground squirrels find suitable habitat in this barren area, which is devoid of both water and trails. The non-Wilderness corridor of an old road divides the Wilderness into eastern and western halves, and the China Lake Naval Weapons Center shares the eastern border.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Grass Valley Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
California Desert Protection Act of 1994 - Public Law 103-433 (10/31/1994) "California Desert Protection Act of 1994" An Act to designate certain lands in the California Desert as wilderness, to establish the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, to establish the Mojave National Preserve, and for other purposes.