The United States Congress designated the Sheephole Valley Wilderness (map
) in 1994 and it now has a total of 188,169 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
The Sheephole Valley Wilderness is bordered by
the Joshua Tree Wilderness
to the south.
The Sheephole Valley Wilderness is a perfect representation of the basin and range topography typical in the Mojave Desert. The area consists of the northwest to southeast trending granitic boulder strewn Sheep Hole and Calumet Mountains. The Sheep Hole Mountains, the larger and steeper range, rises to an elevation of 4,613 feet, while the Calumets rise to 3,732 feet above sea level. Sheep Hole Valley nests between the two ranges. At the valley's lowest point, around 1,832 feet above sea level, there are two small dry lake beds. Sand dune formations can be found at the southwest end of the Sheep Hole range and northeastern portion of the Calumets. Dominant vegetation is typical of much of the Mojave Desert, consisting of creosote bush scrub that gradually changes into a mixed desert scrub at higher elevations. Around the dry lake beds, salt-tolerant plants such as pickleweed, inkweek, and saltbush are found. Borrego milkvetch occurs in the sand dunes and is listed by the California Native Plant Society as rare and endangered in California. Wildlife is typical for the Mojave Desert; including bighorn sheep, the threatened desert tortoise, coyote, black-tailed jackrabbits, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, quail, roadrunners, rattlesnakes, and several species of lizards.