Owens Peak Wilderness (Photo by Bob Wick, BLM)
Location: Kern, Tulare and Inyo Counties; 15 miles northwest of Ridgecrest, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)
Area Description: 73,796 acres.The majority of this wilderness is comprised of the rugged eastern face of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Owens Peak, the high point of the southern Sierra Nevada's, rises more than 8,400 feet. The mountainous terrain has deep, winding, open and expansive canyons, many which contain springs with extensive riparian vegetation. This area is a transition zone between the Great Basin, Mojave Desert and Sierra Nevada ecoregions. Vegetation varies considerably with a creosote desert scrub community on the bajadas, scattered yuccas, cacti, annuals, cottonwood and oak trees in the canyons and valleys and a juniper-pinyon woodland with sagebrush and digger/grey pine on the upper elevations. Wildlife includes mule deer, golden eagle and prairie falcon. Evidence of occupation by prehistoric peoples has been found throughout the wilderness. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the wilderness along the crest and western side.
Getting There: Access this wilderness from the south via Canebrake Road, off State Highway 178; from the east via U.S. Highway 395 north of Inyokern and along four-wheel drive- recommended routes into Indian Wells Canyon, Short Canyon, Sand Canyon, and No Name Canyon; and from the north via U.S. Highway 395 north Inyokern along Ninemile Canyon Road.
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.