The northwestern tip of the Big Maria Mountains, rising to about 2,000 feet above sea level, gives way to the broad, flat plains of Rice Valley within this Wilderness. Rice Valley is the southern end of a vast sheet of sand extending from Cadiz Valley in the north southward across Ward Valley. Relatively small as far as dunes go, the buff-colored sand of Rice Valley rises 30 to 40 feet above the valley floor and stretches in a long, narrow band along the middle of the region. Beyond the mountains, this is a Wilderness of sand.
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 Rice 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.