Cadiz Dunes Wilderness

At almost 20,000 acres, the Cadiz Dunes Wilderness is a small protected area just northeast of the much larger Sheephole Valley Wilderness and Joshua Tree National Park. This is a small dune area created from the remnants of the ancient Cadiz Lake sediment. It is surrounded by Creosote Bush scrub community. Very rare plants can be found here due to the unique topogrophy such as Borrego Milk Vetch (Astragalus Lentiginosus var. Borreganus) which is listed as a rare and endangered species in California by the California Native Plant Society.


Creosote Bush

Many animals make their burrows underneath creosote bushes, including Merriam's Kangaroo Rat and the federally threatened Desert Tortoise. The leaves and tiny seeds of this species are an important food source for rabbits, woodrats, mice, lizards and birds. The USFS has estimated that Creosote Bush covers 35 - 46 million acres in the southwest. A massive clonal colony of this plant was discovered in Lucerne Valley, CA.  Through radiocarbon dating it was placed at 11,700 years old, thus one of the oldest living things on earth and dubbed King Clone.

Creosote Bush shrub in the desert
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