The Trona Pinnacles is one of the most unusual geological features in the California Desert Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate (tufa) that formed underwater. They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side.
Wild Burros ridgecrest 85 A field of California Poppies and other widflowers Desert Tortoise Wild Horses
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Ridgecrest Field Office

Sylvania Mountains Wilderness

Location:  Inyo County; 30 miles east of Bishop, California (Note: Boundary set backs from roads or trails are 30 to 300 feet)  Sylvania Mountains location

Area Description: 18,682 acres. Sitting near the California-Nevada border, the terrain within the Sylvania Mountains Wilderness starts on the desert floor. Gradually rolling hills the western boundary give way to rough and mountainous rock rising to nearly 8,000 feet on the eastern boundary. Sagebrush scrub grows at the (lower elevations and pinyon-juniper pine thrive along the mountain peal The Last Chance Range, Piper Mountain and Fish Lake Valley can all be viewed from this wilderness, providing a sense of vastness. Desert bighorn sheep roam this area, which is also home to deer and chuckar.

Getting There: Access to this wilderness from the north is via State Highway 168, approximately 32 miles north and east of Big Pine and along F-0756; an from the south via Big Pine-Death Valley Road, approximately 34 miles east of Big Pine and along North Eureka Road (F- 1373). Check road conditions before driving.

Nonfederal Lands: Private lands may lie within the wilderness area. Please respect the owner 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.

Sylvania Mountains Wilderness


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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
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