The Rand Mountains extend about 15 miles from California City in the southwest to Randsburg in the northeast. Fremont Valley lies along the northeastern edge of the mountains. The whole management area covers about 40,000 acres and encompasses the Desert Tortoise Natural Area and the Western Rand Mountains Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The Desert Tortoise is a federally listed endangered species that inhabits the rocky foothills, bajadas and valley floors of the Mojave Desert.
The Mojave Desert is the driest of the North American deserts. Summer is hot and dry with a remote possibility of monsoon-type rains. Winter can bring sub-zero temperatures in the mountains. It’s in this season that Pacific storms can overwhelm the Sierra Nevada and bring rain and snow to the area. Wind is a constant, though it peaks in the spring with gusts often topping 50mph. The major indicator species for the Mojave is the Joshua tree, an overgrown, Seussian member of the yucca family.
View Larger Map