Kiavah Wilderness


Embracing the eroded hills, canyons, and bajadas of the Scodie Mountains--the southernmost reach of the Sierra Nevada--Kiavah Wilderness lies primarily within Sequoia National Forest but includes a portion on BLM land. Here in the transition zone between the Sierra Nevada and the Mojave Desert, you'll find an unusual mix of plants and animals: creosote bush, Joshua tree, burro bush, and shadscale growing near pinion pine, juniper, canyon oak, and gray pine; yellow-eared pocket mice and lizards watching the skies for raptors.

Kiavah Wilderness

Trails enter from all sides, often fading into the terrain. The Pacific Crest Trail enters on the northeast from Walker Pass and crosses the area for 16 miles, exiting over Bird Spring Pass to the south. Four-wheel-drive roads forge into the area on non-Wilderness intrusions from the east up Horse Canyon and Cow Heaven Canyon, both accessible from State Highway 14. You should be able to find water in numerous springs. However, due to the arid environment and dry conditions be sure to carry plenty of water. Potable drinking water may not be available year round. Visitors should not drink from creeks and springs without properly treating the water. Recommended treatment is to bring clear water to a rolling boil for 5 minutes or use a filter/purifying system that eliminates giardia and waterborne bacteria.

For more information about this wilderness, please visit Wilderness Connect.

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). For more information on any of the principles listed below, please visit Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website..

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Rules and Regulations

Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport are generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles (including OHVs), motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation. In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the agency for more information about regulations.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips


Geographic Coordinates

35.587366, -118.019004


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).