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Sheephole Valley Wilderness
Sheephole Valley Wilderness

Sheephole Valley Wilderness

Sheephole Valley Wilderness is a 188,169-acre reserve located in the heart of the Mojave Desert in Southern California. The popular wilderness makes up part of the Mojave Trails National Monument.

The property is accessible using Route 62, which is a 20-mile drive away from Twentynine Palms.

Sheephole Valley Wilderness, Hiking Trail, Camping & Hunting, California

The wilderness itself is tucked away 300 feet from the northern end of the highway, stretching over 21 miles. To the east, the wilderness begins 30 feet from the dirt road that covers the full length of the property. The wilderness is separated from the nearby Joshua Tree National Park by the highway, and as such, it exhibits some of the park’s geographical features.

This explains why the wilderness is characterized by granite-filled sandy patches that are typical of the Mojave Desert. Additionally, Sheephole Valley Wilderness is home to two popular attractions in the region: Sheephole and the Calumet Mountains.

The Sheephole Mountains are a distinct part of the wilderness, towering at more than 4,100 feet above sea level. This range of mountains is steeper compared to others in the wilderness area, with popular activities in the mountains including hiking and scrambling. The terrain is difficult as its surface consists of rugged formations of monzogranite boulders. The trail to the mountains is a challenging four-mile trek that is not for the faint-hearted.

On the other hand, the Calumet Mountains stands at 3732 feet above sea level and is significantly less steep than the Sheephole Mountains. Its summit is not as prominent, and the hike isn’t as challenging. The mountain attracts nature lovers for hiking adventures and rock climbing. Also, look out for sand dunes close to the base of the mountains.

At low elevations, Sheephole Valley Wilderness boasts creosote bush scrubs, with patches of the Borrego Milkvetch at the sand dunes. Some of the wildlife species here include rattlesnakes, quails, roadrunners, as well as the bighorn sheep. On a good day, you may even notice the desert tortoise.

Camping is permitted in the wilderness, but only for periods of 14 days at a time, after which campers are required to move at least 25 miles away.

Other attractions close to Sheephole Valley Wilderness include the Cadiz Dunes and the Cleghorn Lakes Wilderness.

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