The United States Congress designated the Rice Valley Wilderness (map
) in 1994 and it now has a total of 41,777 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Rice Valley Wilderness is bordered by
the Big Maria Mountains Wilderness
to the south.
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.