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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 Field Office

Santa Lucia Wilderness

Location: The Santa Lucia Wilderness is one of two wilderness areas just inland from the California coast in southern-central San Luis Obispo County. It is located approximately 15 miles east of San Luis Obispo and 65 miles west of Bakersfield, California. The property lies approximately 15 miles south of Highway 58 and north of Highway 166.

The southern and eastern sides of the Wilderness are bordered by private property whilst the north and west are framed by the USFS Los Padres National Forest Santa Lucia Wilderness. A very small portion of the Santa Lucia Wilderness–approximately 45 acres—is located 13 miles northwest of the primary BLM Santa Lucia Wilderness and lies 1 mile east of US highway 101.
The majority of the wilderness area is located within T31S, R15E MDM.

Area Description: The BLM wilderness was established by the Endangered American Wilderness Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-237) by the U.S. Congress. This act added approximately 1,893 acres of wilderness to the south and east of the pre-existing Santa Lucia Wilderness, located within the Los Padres National Forest. The Santa Lucia Wilderness totals 20,486 acres; however 18,593 acres of this total are managed by the Los Padres National Forest and will not be considered in this report.

The Santa Lucia Wilderness is an extremely rugged landscape with chaparral-covered peaks, stream-fed valleys of oaks and lush riparian vegetation. The wilderness is part of the Santa Lucia Range, approximately 12 miles northeast of Arroyo Grande and 13 miles southeast of San Luis Obispo. The area receives an abundant amount of sunny days, and temperatures remain mild through the winter. The highly varied terrain within the wilderness can create abrupt changes in climatic conditions over short distances.

The terrain of the wilderness is very rugged; the landscape is dominated by steep ridges separated by narrow canyons. The tallest point in the wilderness area is at 2,776 feet; Big Baldy is one of the most prominent features of the wilderness at 2,686 feet.

Getting There: The property is 3 miles northeast of Lopez Lake and is best accessed via Pozo Road, which passes through private ranch land to the south.

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

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.

Santa Lucia Wilderness


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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
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