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Closed Sand Dune Areas

Rice Valley Dunes

Rice Valley Dunes - Now Closed to Vehicles
Rice Valley Dunes are now closed to vehicles

Location: Approximately 35 miles north of Blythe, CA. Just south of Highway 62 near old Rice Airfield.

Directions:

Highway 62 to South on Santa Fe Rd.

Access Road and BLM Kiosk were located off of Highway 62 at GPS coordinates:
34 05 20N, -114 44 26W

Description:

Formerly designated specifically for OHV recreation. Small rolling dunes with some vegetation.

Managed By: BLM - Palm Springs

Size: 3,770 acres

Date of Closure: December 2002

Type of Closure: Permanent

Reason for Closure

BLM determined area was "under-utilized". Designation was changed to "closed" through the Northern and Eastern Colorado Desert (NECO) Coordinated Management
Plan, an amendment to the CDCA Plan. The Record of Decision for this plan
amendment was signed in December 2002.

"The two small open areas, Rice, and Ford Dry Lake, we propose to close and keep them closed. We have said that the reasons are they are high value habitat for species and low use on recreation -- basically no use in 20 years."  Dick Crowe, BLM from BLM DAC Meeting Minutes - June 2, 2002

BLM Approves Northern and Eastern Mojave Plan (BLM Press Release) - December 20, 2002

Other information:

  • Rice Airfield (World War II) is just to the north of the dunes (forms a "V")

  • Remnants of Camp Rice can also be seen south of Hwy 62, and NE of Rice Airfield

  • Several online OHV guides still list the area as open

  • Rice Valley Dunes are near the Rice Valley Wilderness Area (41,643 acres), but are not designated as Wilderness.

Endangered or Threatened Species:

  • Desert Tortoise

Map:

Aerial Photo of Rice Valley Dunes showing recreaton area boundary
Rice Valley Dunes from Google Maps showing the boundaries of the designated OHV recreation area

Rice Valley Dunes Access Road - Now Closed
Google Maps screenshot - White line show approximate location of the now closed access road. Access Road and BLM Kiosk were located off of Highway 62 at GPS coordinates: 34 05 20N, -114 44 26W

Other Photos:

Rice Valley Dunes - circa 2001 (before it was closed)   Rice Valley Dunes - circa 2001 (before it was closed)   Rice Valley Dunes - circa 2001 (before it was closed)

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