Arizona and California Railroad
The Arizona and California Railroad is a short line railroad, a subdivision of the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway. The ARZC began operations on May 9, 1991, when David Parkinson of the ParkSierra RailGroup purchased the line from the Santa Fe Railway. ParkSierra Railgroup was purchased in January 2002 by RailAmerica, the former owner of the ARZC; the Genesee & Wyoming railroad holding company purchased RailAmerica in December 2012. ARZC's main commodities are petroleum gas and lumber. At Cadiz, the railroad begins in the interchange with the BNSF Railway and continues southeast across the Mojave Desert to Rice east to cross the Colorado River Arizona/California state line at Parker, Arizona; the railroad continues southeast to Hope near Vicksburg northeast to Matthie. At Matthie, ARZC has trackage rights over the north-south BNSF line that connects Phoenix to BNSF's mainline at Williams, it had a branch that runs from Rice south through Blythe, terminating at Ripley. Arizona & California operates tracks that are 297 miles long consisting of the following segments: 190 mile mainline from Cadiz, CA - Parker, AZ - Matthie, AZ. 57 miles of trackage rights over the BNSF Railway from Matthie - Phoenix, AZ. 50 mile former branch line from Rice - Blythe - Ripley, CA.
Shortened as a spur for freight car storage. The mainline now used by ARZC was constructed between 1903 and 1910 by the Arizona and California Railway; the line between A&C Junction, AZ, Parker opened in June 1907. The Colorado River bridge near Parker was completed in June 1908 and by 1910 the line had reached Cadiz, California. In 1909, the Arizona and Swansea Railroad that connected Swansea from Bouse was completed. On November 22, 1921, a rail motor car carrying Santa Fe officials derailed north of Wickenburg, with five killed and four injured. A&C Junction was renamed Matthie in honor of the Albuquerque Division superintendent William Matthie; as late as 1937, there were several daily passenger trains on the line: #170-117 and #118-181 operated daily between Phoenix Union Station and Cadiz, with connections to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Trains #170-117 and #118-181 as of June 1954 were hauled by Santa Fe's only ALCO RS-2, shortly after were supplanted by a motor car. In 1914, the California Southern Railroad was incorporated to build 42.2 mi from a town known as Blythe Junction to Blythe.
The first spike was pounded on August 1915 by Floyd Brown. The Interstate Commerce Commission reported the line as the longest built in the country in 1915; the first train arrived to Blythe in August 8, 1916 and the branch was extended to Ripley in 1920. Santa Fe leased the line on November 1921 and completed its acquisition on 1942. Blythe passenger service ended shortly after World War II, according to Santa Fe agent Ruben Gonzales. In March 12, 2009, citing declining revenues and worn out track structure, the ARZC petitioned the Surface Transportation Board to abandon all but the first four miles of the Ripley branch line. No trains have run over this line since late 2007 and the cost to repair the branch line would be significant. On June 30, 2009, the Surface Transportation Board granted the ARZC petition. A Blythe area committee formed to oppose the petition had found a customer willing to purchase the line, namely the owner of the BG&CM Railroad of Idaho. By January 14, 2010, the Surface Transportation Board terminated the offer of financial assistance for the railroad.
The rail line was scrapped in 2011 beyond the first four miles from Rice. The diesel roster for ARZC's early years included five EMD GP20s, one GP38AC, three GP38Ms, three GP35s, two MP15DCs. In 1996 five GP30s arrived to replace the GP20s. In May 2001, the railroad received four SD45Ms from VMV Paducahbilt; the railroad owned or leased freight cars including twenty five Gunderson double stack cars, possesses a former Santa Fe crane. The railroad owned the former Great Northern Apekunny Mountain observation car, followed by former Santa Fe official car No. 58, now on display in the Western America Railroad Museum in Barstow, California. Official ARZC Webpage Pictures of early ARZC trains Movies filmed on ARZC BNSF Railway Shortline Partner ARZC Profile
The Quechan are a Native American tribe who live on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation on the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California just north of the Mexican border. Members are enrolled into the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation; the federally recognized Quechan tribe's main office is located in Arizona. Its operations and the majority of its reservation land are located in United States; the historic Yuman-speaking people in this region were skilled warriors and active traders, maintaining exchange networks with the Pima in southern Arizona and with peoples of the Pacific coast. The first significant contact of the Quechan with Europeans was with the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and his party in the winter of 1774. Relations were friendly. On Anza's return from his second trip to Alta California in 1776, the chief of the tribe and three of his men journeyed to Mexico City to petition the Viceroy of New Spain for the establishment of a mission; the chief Palma and his three companions were baptized in Mexico City on February 13, 1777.
Palma was given the Spanish baptismal name Salvador Carlos Antonio. Spanish settlement among the Quechan did not go smoothly, they attacked and damaged the Spanish mission settlements of San Pedro y San Pablo de Bicuñer and Puerto de Purísima Concepción, killing many. The following year, the Spanish retaliated with military action against the tribe. After the United States annexed the territories after winning the Mexican–American War, it engaged in the Yuma War from 1850 to 1853. During which, the historic Fort Yuma was built across the Colorado River from the present day Yuma, Arizona. Estimates for the pre-contact populations of most native groups in California have varied substantially. Alfred L. Kroeber put the 1770 population of the Quechan at 2,500. Jack D. Forbes compiled historical estimates and suggested that before they were first contacted, the Quechan had numbered 4,000 or a few more. Kroeber estimated the population of the Quechan in 1910 as 750. By 1950, there were reported to be just under 1,000 Quechan living on the reservation and more than 1,100 off it.
The 2000 census reported a resident population of 2,376 persons on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, only 56.8 percent of whom said they were of Native American heritage. More than 27 percent of these persons identified as white; the Quechan language is part of the Yuman language family. The Fort Yuma Indian Reservation is a part of the Quechan's traditional lands. Established in 1884, the reservation, at 32°47′N 114°39′W, has a land area of 178.197 km2 in southeastern Imperial County and western Yuma County, near the city of Yuma, Arizona. Both the county and city are named for the tribe. Quechan traditional narratives Quechan language Fort Yuma Blythe geoglyphs Indigenous peoples of the Americas Classification of indigenous peoples of the Americas Native Americans in the United States Forbes, Jack D.. Warriors of the Colorado: The Yumas of the Quechan Nation and Their Neighbors. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Kroeber, A. L.. Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin.
78. Washington, DC. Pritzker, Barry M.. A Native American Encyclopedia: History and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1. Zappia, Natale A.. Traders and Raiders: The Indigenous World of the Colorado Basin, 1540-1859. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. "Yuma Reservation, California/Arizona". United States Census Bureau. Quechan Tribal Council, official website Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona
An Indian reservation is a legal designation for an area of land managed by a federally recognized Native American tribe under the U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs rather than the state governments of the United States in which they are physically located; each of the 326 Indian reservations in the United States is associated with a particular Native American nation. Not all of the country's 567 recognized tribes have a reservation—some tribes have more than one reservation, while some share reservations. In addition, because of past land allotments, leading to some sales to non–Native Americans, some reservations are fragmented, with each piece of tribal and held land being a separate enclave; this jumble of private and public real estate creates significant administrative and legal difficulties. The collective geographical area of all reservations is 56,200,000 acres the size of Idaho. While most reservations are small compared to U. S. states, there are 12 Indian reservations larger than the state of Rhode Island.
The largest reservation, the Navajo Nation Reservation, is similar in size to West Virginia. Reservations are unevenly distributed throughout the country; because tribes possess the concept of tribal sovereignty though it is limited, laws on tribal lands vary from those of the surrounding area. These laws can permit legal casinos for example, which attract tourists; the tribal council, not the local government or the United States federal government has jurisdiction over reservations. Different reservations have different systems of government, which may or may not replicate the forms of government found outside the reservation. Most Native American reservations were established by the federal government; the name "reservation" comes from the conception of the Native American tribes as independent sovereigns at the time the U. S. Constitution was ratified. Thus, the early peace treaties in which Native American tribes surrendered large portions of land to the U. S. designated parcels which the tribes, as sovereigns, "reserved" to themselves, those parcels came to be called "reservations".
The term remained in use after the federal government began to forcibly relocate tribes to parcels of land to which they had no historical connection. Today a majority of Native Americans and Alaska Natives live somewhere other than the reservations in larger western cities such as Phoenix and Los Angeles. In 2012, there were with about 1 million living on reservations. From the beginning of the European colonization of the Americas, Europeans removed native peoples from lands they wished to occupy; the means varied, including treaties made under considerable duress, forceful ejection, violence, in a few cases voluntary moves based on mutual agreement. The removal caused many problems such as tribes losing means of livelihood by being subjected to a defined area, farmers having inadmissible land for agriculture, hostility between tribes; the first reservation was established in southern New Jersey on 29 August 1758. It was called Brotherton Indian Reservation and Edgepillock or Edgepelick; the area was 3284 acres.
Today it is called Indian Mills in Shamong Township. In 1764 the "Plan for the Future Management of Indian Affairs" was proposed by the Board of Trade. Although never adopted formally, the plan established the imperial government's expectation that land would only be bought by colonial governments, not individuals, that land would only be purchased at public meetings. Additionally, this plan dictated that the Indians would be properly consulted when ascertaining and defining the boundaries of colonial settlement; the private contracts that once characterized the sale of Indian land to various individuals and groups—from farmers to towns—were replaced by treaties between sovereigns. This protocol was adopted by the United States Government after the American Revolution. On 11 March 1824, John C. Calhoun founded the Office of Indian Affairs as a division of the United States Department of War, to solve the land problem with 38 treaties with American Indian tribes; the document “Indian Treaties, Laws and Regulations Relating to Indian Affairs”’ published in 1825 in Washington City, America was signed by president Andrew Jackson.
He states that “we have placed the land reserves in a better state for the benefit of society” with approval of Indigenous reservations prior to 1850. The letter is signed by Isaac Shelby and the American President and discusses several regulations regarding Indigenous people of America and the approval of Indigenous segregation and the reservation system. President Martin Van Buren writes a Treaty with the Saginaw Tribe of Chippewas in 1837 to build a light house; the President of the United States of America was directly involved in the creation of new Treaties regarding Indian Reservations before 1850. He says Indigenous Reservations are “all their reserves of land in the state of Michigan, on the principle of said reserves being sold at the public land offices for their benefit and the actual proceeds being paid to them.” The agreement is for the Indigenous Tribe to sell their land, based on a Reservation to build a “lighthouse.” President, Martin Van Buren wants to buy Indigenous Reservation Land to build infrastructure.
A Treaty signed by John Forsyth, the Secretary of State on behalf of, President Martin Van Buren of the United
Blythe is a city in Riverside County, United States, in the Palo Verde Valley of the Lower Colorado River Valley region, an agricultural area and part of the Colorado Desert along the Colorado River 224 miles east of Los Angeles and 150 miles west of Phoenix. Blythe was named after Thomas H. Blythe, a San Francisco financier, who established primary water rights to the Colorado River in the region in 1877; the city was incorporated on July 21, 1916. The population was 20,817 at the 2010 census. In the early or mid-1870s, William Calloway, an engineer and a former captain of the 1st California Infantry Regiment, explored an area across the Colorado River from Ehrenberg and found its potential for development. Calloway made preliminary surveys and filed land claims under the Swamp Land Act of 1850, he interested the wealthier Thomas Henry Blythe, born in Mold, Wales, to undertake development and settlement of an "empire" located next to the Colorado. On July 17, 1877, Blythe filed his first claim for Colorado River water on what was to become the "Blythe Intake".
Blythe appointed another man named George Irish as manager to assist Calloway in building an irrigation system. Calloway died in a Chemehuevi attack in March 28, 1880, was replaced by C. C. Miller, the father of Frank Augustus Miller. Thomas Blythe died on April 4, 1883. After his death, the work in the valley halted and Blythe's estate subsequently went into litigation between his illegitimate daughter Florence and other claimants, the trial beginning on 1889. By the 1900s, Florence was awarded the estate, after several years of preceding rulings in favor of her and appeals against her. Frank Murphy and Ed Williams, who were involved on the cattle industry in southeastern Arizona, came to the area in 1904 and were convinced it was well-suited for cattle and farming. With the Hobson brothers from Ventura County, they bought Blythe's estate and formed the Palo Verde Land and Water Company. During 1911–1912, W. F. Holt, who helped develop nearby Imperial Valley, was the company's general manager. On August 8, 1916, the California Southern Railroad reached Blythe from the desert station of Rice known as Blythe Junction.
It was renamed to honor G. W. Rice, an engineer and superintendent of the railroad; the dramatic growth in the valley following this event attracted national attention. Production totals increased annually from nothing to near $8,000,000 in few years from cotton and cotton seed shipped to the ports; the lower cotton prices in 1920 ended this prosperous time. The Atchison and Santa Fe Railway began leasing the line in 1921 and acquired it in the end of 1942. In 1935, the completion of Boulder Dam extinguished the destructive annual floods in the valley; as noted in the city's fiftieth anniversary, some forty crops were grown in the farms, large cattle feeds were another aspect of the agriculture industry. Nearly two decades earlier, the Fisher ranch had the biggest herd of registered Brahman cattle in California, the breeding stock having been sold to western states and other countries. During World War II, Blythe was the site of United States Army Air Forces facilities in the Blythe Airport and the Gary Field.
The first automobile bridge over the Colorado River between Blythe and Ehrenberg was constructed in 1928 to replace a cable ferry service. The bridge's successor was built in the early 1960s and it was expanded to four lanes and a pedestrian walkway in early 1974. In 1972, Interstate 10 was built through the city, replacing US 60 and the decommissioned US 70 in Hobsonway as the main thoroughfare. In 2016, the voter-approved recreational use of cannabis in California has made the cannabis industry drawn to the economically declined city due to lower land prices and lower taxes compared to other parts of the state. One of the proposed cannabis facilities, Palo Verde Center, would be one of the largest in North America. Blythe is located near the California/Arizona border in the Colorado Desert section of the Sonoran Desert, at the junction of Interstate 10 and US 95. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.0 square miles, of which 26.2 square miles is land and 0.8 square miles is water.
Nearby communities include Lost Lake and Vidal to the north, Ripley to the south, Desert Center to the west, Ehrenberg, Arizona, to the east. Major cities in the region include Yuma, Phoenix, San Bernardino and Las Vegas. Blythe is within 4 hours via car of 10% of the United States' population. Blythe has a hot desert climate, featuring hot summers and mild winters. There are an average of 178.4 days with highs of higher. There are an average of 18.9 days with lows of 32 °F or lower. Until 2016, the record high temperature was 122 °F on July 7, 1920, June 24, 1929, but on June 20, 2016, that long-standing record was shattered when Blythe reached 124 °F. The record low temperature was 5 °F on January 6, 1913. There are an average of 16 days with measurable precipitation; the wettest year was 1951 with 8.71 inches and the driest year was 1956 with.18 inches. The most rainfall in one month was 6.00 inches in August 1951, which included the 24-hour record rainfall of 3.06 inches on August 27. At the airport, there are an average of 176.0 days with highs of higher.
There are an average of 5.4 days with lows of lower. The record high temperature was 124 °F on June 20, 2016; the recor
California State Route 78
State Route 78 is a state highway in the U. S. state of California that runs from Oceanside east to Blythe, traversing nearly the entire width of the state. Its western terminus is at Interstate 5 in San Diego County and its eastern terminus is at I-10 in Riverside County; the route is a freeway through the populated cities of northern San Diego County and a two-lane highway running through the Cuyamaca Mountains to Julian. In Imperial County, SR 78 travels through the desert near the Salton Sea and passes through the city of Brawley before turning north and passing through an area of sand dunes on the way to its terminus in Blythe. SR 78 was one of the original state highways designated in 1934, although portions of the route existed as early as 1900. However, it was not designated east of Brawley until 1959; the freeway section in the North County of San Diego that connects Oceanside and Escondido was built in the middle of the twentieth century in several stages, including a transitory stage known as the Vista Way Freeway, has been improved several times.
An expressway bypass of the city of Brawley was completed in 2012. There are many projects slated to improve the freeway due to increasing congestion in the region. SR 78 begins in Oceanside as a continuation of Vista Way; as it encounters a traffic signal and crosses over I-5, the route becomes a suburban freeway traveling east through Oceanside. The freeway loosely parallels Buena Vista Creek before entering the city of Vista. Turning southeast, SR 78 continues into the city of San Marcos near California State University San Marcos and enters Escondido, where it has an interchange with I-15. A 2011 Caltrans study estimated that the average commuter encountered a delay of 10 minutes on the portion from I-5 to I-15. After passing the Center City Parkway interchange, the freeway abruptly ends at the intersection with Broadway. SR 78 makes a turn south onto Broadway and continues through downtown Escondido by turning east onto Washington Avenue and south onto Ash Street, which becomes San Pasqual Valley Road.
Turning east once again, SR 78 leaves the Escondido city limits and enters the San Pasqual Valley as it provides access to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Pasqual Battlefield State Park. After leaving the San Pasqual Valley, the road follows a serpentine alignment, heading south to enter the community of Ramona as Pine Street. In Ramona, SR 78 intersects SR 67 and makes a turn east onto Main Street, going through downtown Ramona; the highway leaves Ramona as Julian Road, which continues on a winding mountain alignment through Witch Creek to Santa Ysabel where it meets SR 79. SR 78 runs concurrently with SR 79 across the headwaters of the San Diego River and through the hamlet of Wynola entering Cleveland National Forest before reaching Julian and entering the town as Washington Street; the route, still concurrent with SR 79, turns east onto Main Street and travels through downtown Julian before SR 79 diverges south towards Cuyamaca and SR 78 heads northeast as Banner Road. The road intersects with County Route S2 at a junction called Scissors Crossing.
Shortly afterwards, SR 78 enters Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and is designated as a scenic highway for its length in the state park. Although this route travels many miles south of the town of Borrego Springs, it provides access to the town via CR S3. SR 78 travels through the town of Ocotillo Wells before exiting the state park and entering Imperial County. In Imperial County, SR 78 intersects with SR 86, running concurrently with it southwest of the Salton Sea and northwest of San Felipe Creek. SR 78 passes through the desert community of Elmore Desert Ranch before entering the city of Westmorland; the route, still concurrent with SR 86, enters into the city of Brawley as Main Street, where SR 86 splits to the south towards El Centro. SR 78 continues north onto the Brawley Bypass, a freeway that passes to the north of downtown Brawley. SR 111 runs concurrently with SR 78 for a short duration before the latter exits from the freeway and continues east. SR 78 intersects with SR 115 east of Brawley, running concurrently with it for a brief distance.
Shortly after passing through the small community of Glamis, the road turns northeast and north towards Blythe, passing near the Chocolate Mountain Naval Reserve. As it nears the Colorado River and the Arizona border, SR 78 passes through Cibola National Wildlife Refuge before entering the community of Palo Verde, where the river turns away from the highway and SR 78 enters Riverside County; as it nears Blythe, the highway makes a sharp turn east onto 32nd Avenue before turning north on Rannels Boulevard. It makes a right on 28th Avenue before turning north on South Neighbours Boulevard and passing through Ripley. SR 78 continues north for a few more miles to its terminus at I-10 seven miles west of the Arizona border. North of I-10, Neighbours Boulevard becomes Interstate 10 Business for a block before the business route turns east toward Blythe. SR 78 is designated as the Ronald Packard Parkway from I-5 in the city of Oceanside to I-15 in the city of Escondido, Ben Hulse Highway from SR 86 near Brawley to I-10 near the city of Blythe.
The portion of SR 78 from SR 86 in Brawley to CR S3 near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is designated as part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail auto tour route, promoted by the National Park Service. An informal nickname for the road is "the Hops Highway," referring to the fact that the 60-mile stretch of SR 78 from Oceanside to Julian passes by one-third of all the breweries in San Diego County. SR 78
Lower Colorado River Valley
The Lower Colorado River Valley is the river region of the lower Colorado River of the southwestern United States in North America that rises in the Rocky Mountains and has its outlet at the Colorado River Delta in the northern Gulf of California in northwestern Mexico, between the states of Baja California and Sonora. This north–south stretch of the Colorado River forms the border between the U. S. states of California/Arizona and Nevada/Arizona, between the Mexican states of Baja California/Sonora. It is defined as the region from below Hoover Dam and Lake Mead to its outlet at the northern Gulf of California, it is home to recreation activities from the river, the lakes created by dams and the home of various cities and towns along the river, or associated with the valley region. Five Indian reservations are located in the LCRV: the Chemehuevi, Fort Mojave and Colorado River Indian Reservations; some of the highest absolute air temperatures are recorded in the LCRV. Worldwide, only some deserts found in Africa and in the Middle East stand up with an hotter summer climate on average.
The LCRV is defined by three deserts. The Mojave Desert is in southeast California, southern Nevada, northwest Arizona. To the south is the Sonoran Desert on both sides of the Colorado River; however an ecozone delineation occurs in the transition from Arizona to southeast California. The Lower Colorado River Valley is located in the north, northwestern Sonoran Desert; the LCRV extends about 350 miles from Hoover Dam to the Colorado River Delta. The Sonoran Desert itself is more than twice as extensive north-to-south, about 450 miles in width. Two species, Desert Ironwood- and the Lesser Long-nosed Bat, have geographic ranges identical to the Sonoran Desert, are indicator species of the Sonoran Desert region; the spring flowering of Ironwood, the bat species migration arrivals become indicators of annual or multi-year climate trends for regions of the Sonoran Desert. The Lower Colorado River Valley subregion of the Sonoran Desert bioregion has multiple threats; some major threats include urbanization, clearing of land for agriculture, human occupancy – as a result of imported external resources, camping and camptrailers on BLM land.
Other threats include harvesting for fuelwood, etc. of desert ironwood, Olneya tesota, destruction of land by offroad vehicles in sand dunes, harvesting and manipulation of groundwater. Laughlin, Nevada in Clark County, Nevada Needles, California in San Bernardino County Bullhead City, Arizona Mojave Valley, Arizona Lake Havasu City, Arizona Vidal, California Parker, Arizona Blythe, California Quartzite, Arizona Winterhaven, California in Imperial County, California Yuma, Arizona in Yuma County, Arizona San Luis, Arizona San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora Rio Grande, the eastern river valley drainage of the Southwest USA Rio Grande Valley Category:Rio Grande Category:Fauna of the U. S. Rio Grande Valleys List of dams of the LCRV List of LCRV communities Little. Atlas of United States Trees, Volume 3, Minor Western Hardwoods, Elbert L, 1976, US Government Printing Office. Library of Congress No. 79-653298. Map 103, Olneya tesota. Journey of the Nectar Bats Map, Lesser Long-nosed Bat range. US Bureau of Reclamation, "Dams Along the Lower Colorado River"
Big Maria Mountains
The Big Maria Mountains are located in the southeastern part of the U. S. state of California, near the Colorado River and Arizona. The range lies between Blythe and Vidal, west of U. S. Route 95 in California and east of Midland; the mountains reach an elevation of 1,030 meters. A power line that runs from Parker Dam to Yuma, Arizona runs through the range. A smaller range, the Little Maria Mountains, lie to the west of the Big Marias; the Big Maria Mountains are one of several ranges that constitute the Maria Thrust Belt. The Maria Fold and Thrust Belt underwent thick-skinned North-South trending crustal shortening in the Cretaceous; the structures of the MFTB are exposed by to generally East-West trending large-scale crustal extension in the Miocene, through what is known to geologists as the Colorado River Extensional Corridor This North-South shortening is anomalous, as crustal shortening in the rest of the North American Cordillera is oriented East-West because of the East-West compression, due to the subduction of the Farallon plate under western North America.
Unlike the rest of the North American Cordillera, deformation in the Maria Fold and Thrust Belt involved rocks of the North American Craton, most notably the Grand Canyon sequence of sedimentary rocks. Foxtail cactus and California barrel cactus dot the landscape, a Burro mule deer herd relies on the Colorado River for survival; the Big Maria Mountains Wilderness Area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management for recreation and nature reserve protection. The terrain of the Big Maria Mountains within the wilderness area varies from sloping Alluvial fans to numerous rough, craggy peaks disjointed by steep canyons; the northern boundary lies south of a major drainage known as Big Wash, the eastern edge parallels U. S. Route 95 in California and the Colorado River; the west and south boundaries follow power contours along the base of the mountains. The Bureau of Land Management manages the Rice Valley Wilderness in and near the Big Maria Mountains; the broad, flat plains of Rice Valley and the northwestern tip of the steep and rugged Big Maria Mountains lie within the borders of this wilderness.
A system of small dunes rising 30 to 40 feet above the surface form a long, narrow band running through the middle of the valley floor. The valley is part of a massive Erg-sand sheet which extends from Cadiz Valley through Ward Valley, representing a part of one of the largest dune systems in the Desert Region of California; the Big Maria Mountains rise above the valley to an elevation of 2,000 feet. Little Maria Mountains Category: Fauna of the Colorado Desert Category: Flora of the California desert regions Category: Wilderness Areas within the Lower Colorado River Valley Category: Protected areas of the Colorado Desert Category: Mountain ranges of the Colorado Desert Official Big Maria Mountains Wilderness Area website BLM Big Maria Mountains Wilderness Map Peakbagger.com (height of highpoint, mountain range map, with regional expansion Official Rice Valley Wilderness Area website BLM Rice Valley Wilderness Map Rice Valley Wilderness Area photographs