The United States Congress designated the Golden Valley Wilderness (map
) in 1994 and it now has a total of 36,536 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Lava Mountains span the northwestern portion of Golden Valley Wilderness, cresting to almost 5,000 feet on Dome Mountain. The Lavas are sliced by several steep-walled canyons arrayed in distinctive bands of multicolored sedimentary rocks. The Almond Mountains reach across the southeastern portion of the area, rising to about 4,500 feet on the broad summit of Almond Mountain. Between these two ranges lies the Golden Valley, a secluded desertland known for its spectacular spring wildflower displays. The arid, rugged terrain of its protective ranges have helped save this valley from human intrusion. The area provides nesting and foraging habitat for raptors and a home for desert tortoises and Mojave ground squirrels. In addition to the numerous flowering annuals, a creosote bush scrub community (creosote bush, cactus, burroweed, brittlebush) dominates the vegetation, and Joshua trees punctuate the mountainsides.