A Carrizo Plain National Monument sign stands in a large valley with mountains in the background.
Rafting the Kern River Three Pump Jacks, Midway-Sunset Oilfield Painted Rock. Carrizo Plain National Monument. Poppy Piedras Blancas Lightstation, San Simeon
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Bakersfield / Ridgecrest Field Offices

Kiavah Wilderness

Rugged hills tower over desert brush.|
Kiavah Wilderness

Location: Kern County; 15 miles west of Ridgecrest, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)

KiavahArea Description: 40,960 acres.This wilderness encompasses the eroded hills, canyons and bajadas of the Scodie Mountains Unit within the Sequoia National Forest -- the southern extremity of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A unique mixing of several different species of plants and animals occurs within the transition zone between the Mojave Desert and Sierra Nevada Mountains. Desert plants such as creosote bush, Joshua tree, burro bush and shadscale may be found in close association with pinyon pine, juniper, canyon oak and digger/grey pine. The varied vegetation provides habitat for a great diversity of wildlife over a small geographic area. Species of note include raptors, the yellow-eared pocket mouse, a variety of lizards and a number of migrant and resident bird species. This wilderness is part of a National Cooperative Land and Wildlife Management Area and the BLM Jawbone Butterbredt Area of Critical Environmental Concern , which was designated to protect outstanding wildlife and Native American values.

Getting There: Access this wilderness from the north via Kelso Valley Road from State Highway 178 west of Inyokern; and from the east via State Highway 14 and numerous routes into Cow Heaven Canyon (SC5 1), Sage Canyon (SC56) and Horse Canyon (SC65), which are four-wheel drive only, and Bird Spring Pass Road (SC120).

Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the landowner and do not use these lands without permission.

Additional Information:  Signs indicating "Wilderness" and "Closed Road" or "Closed Route" are placed at various intervals.  Vehicles can be parked outside the wilderness boundary; however, the boundary is set back 30 feet from unmaintained dirt roads and 300 feet on paved roads.

Mechanized or motorized vehicles are NOT PERMITTED in a wilderness.

Hunting, fishing, and non-commercial trapping are allowed under state and local laws.

Pet are allowed, but please keep your pets under control at all times.

Horses are permitted, however you may be required to carry feed.

Removal, disturbance, or attempting to remove archaelogical materials is a felony.  Selling, receiving, purchasing, transporting, exchanging or offering to do so is prohibited by law.

Camping: Camping is permitted, limited to 14 days.  After 14 days, campers must relocate at least 25 miles from previous site.

Help BLM preserve California's fragile deserts.  Please park your vehicle or set up camp in previously disturbed sites.

Gathering wood for campfires, when permitted, is limited to dead and down materials.  Do not cut live vegetation.

The BLM encourages all desert recreationists and travelers exploring public lands, not only within southern California but through the west, to use propylene glycol based antifreeze/coolant in their touring and recreation vehicles.  Proven safer, it will have minimal impacts on the wildlife and the environment should a leak occur.

Kiavah Wilderness


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National Conservation Lands

Bureau of Land Management
Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93308
Phone: (661) 391-6000
Fax: (661) 391-6041
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email

Bureau of Land Management
Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Rd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Phone: (760) 384-5400
Fax: (760) 384-5499
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email