|Location||Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Alpine / Amador / Calaveras counties, California, United States|
|Nearest city||South Lake Tahoe, California (north), Markleeville, California (east)|
|Area||105,165 acres (425.59 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
The Mokelumne Wilderness is a 105,165-acre (164 sq mi; 426 km2) federally designated wilderness area located 70 miles (110 km) east of Sacramento, California. It is within the boundaries of three national forests: Stanislaus, Eldorado and Toiyabe. First protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Mokelumne's borders were expanded under the California Wilderness Act of 1984 with the addition of 55,000 acres. The wilderness takes its name from the Mokelumne River, which was named after a Mi-wok Indian village located on the riverbank in California's Central Valley.
The wilderness encompasses an area of the Sierra Nevada mountain range between Ebbetts Pass to Carson Pass. There are two sections separated by the Blue Lakes Road and an Off-Road Vehicle corridor.
Elevations range from 4,000 feet (1,200 m) to 10,381 feet (3,164 m). The highest point is Round Top (10,364 feet ), a remnant volcano from which the wilderness area's volcanic soils are derived, which is located on the east side of the Sierra crest.
The west slopes have been eroded by glaciation and water down to the granite bedrock which has created a dramatic contrast between the volcanic and the granitic landscapes.
The wilderness protects habitat for a great variety of plants and animals especially on the slopes of Round Top, which is designated a special interest area. Plants include Ponderosa pine, canyon live oak as well as alpine vegetation of Whitebark pine, subalpine fir, and western juniper, with western white pine, mountain hemlock, and lodgepole pine found in sheltered areas. Waterways such as the North Fork of the Mokelumne River have riparian zones of white and mountain alder, creek dogwood, western azalea and bitter cherry. Wildlife include the black bear and mule deer, as well as martin, bald eagle and the California spotted owl.
The Round Top Botanical Area is at the junction of three botanical provinces and includes red fir forest, sagebrush scrub, subalpine and alpine environments. The combination of soil types, varying exposure and elevations produce diverse plant life, such as the phantom orchid ( Cephalanthera austiniae ), a rare parasitic plant. The plant's common name is due to its color being all or mostly white.
The Round Top Geologic Area has more than 3,000 acres (12 km2) within the wilderness and encompasses a variety of geological areas, including exposed granodiorite, lava flows, dikes, glacial moraines and cirques. The landform known as Elephants Back is a rounded mass of solidified lava. Mineralization produced gold-bearing quartz veins, and relics of past gold mining activities are still present in the area.
The Mokelumne Wilderness has a variety of recreational opportunities all year. With landscapes ranging from deep canyons to alpine heights and more than two hundred ice-scoured lakes and tarns, fishing and hiking are popular activities as well as cross country skiing. Access is from roads surrounding the wilderness boundary with Carson Pass being the most used entry point. The Pacific Crest Trail, the Tahoe–Yosemite Trail and the Emigrant Summit Trail all cross through the Mokelumne Wilderness. The Emigrant Summit Trail is a designated National Recreation and Historic Trail that follows the western boundary and then passes through the wilderness from Emigrant Valley to Caples Lake.
Wilderness permits are required year-round for overnight visits.
Sierra National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located on the western slope of central Sierra Nevada in Central California and bounded on the northwest by Yosemite National Park and the south by Kings Canyon National Park. The forest is known for its mountain scenery and beautiful lakes. Forest headquarters are located in Clovis, California. There are local ranger district offices in North Fork and Prather.
The Three Sisters Wilderness is a wilderness area in the Cascade Range, within the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests in Oregon, United States. It comprises 286,708 acres (1,160.27 km2), making it the second largest wilderness area in Oregon, after the Eagle Cap Wilderness. It was established by the United States Congress in 1964 and is named for the Three Sisters volcanoes. The wilderness boundary encloses the Three Sisters as well as Broken Top, which is southeast of South Sister.
Stanislaus National Forest is a U.S. National Forest which manages 898,099 acres of land in four counties in the Sierra Nevada in Northern California. It was established on February 22, 1897, making it one of the oldest national forests. It was named after the Stanislaus River.
The Desolation Wilderness is a 63,960-acre (258.8 km2) federally protected wilderness area in the Eldorado National Forest and Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, in El Dorado County, California. The crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it, just west of Lake Tahoe.
Lassen National Forest is a United States national forest of 1,700 square miles (4,300 km2) in northeastern California. It is named after pioneer Peter Lassen, who mined, ranched and promoted the area to emigrant parties in the 1850s.
Eldorado National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in the central Sierra Nevada mountain range, in eastern California.
Jennie Lakes Wilderness is a protected area in the Sierra Nevada, in Tulare County, California. It is located 60 miles (97 km) east of Fresno and managed by the US Forest Service.
Salmo-Priest Wilderness is a 41,335 acre (167.28 km2) wilderness area located in the Selkirk Mountains in the northeast corner of Washington state, within the Colville National Forest and the Kaniksu National Forest.
The South Warner Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area 12 miles (19 km) east of Alturas, California, United States. It encompasses more than 70,000 acres (283 km2) of the Warner Mountains. It is within the Modoc National Forest and managed by the US Forest Service. Elevations range from 5,000 feet (1,500 m) to 9,895 feet at Eagle Peak.
The Snow Mountain Wilderness is a 60,076-acre (243.12 km2) federally designated wilderness area located 65 miles (105 km) north of Santa Rosa, California, USA in the Mendocino National Forest. The U.S. Congress passed the California Wilderness Act of 1984 which created 23 new wilderness areas including Snow Mountain. It lies within the North Coast Range of mountains.
The Sacatar Trail Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Ridgecrest, California USA. It was created in 1994 with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act - Public Law 103-433 - and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The wilderness is 51,900 acres (210 km2) in size and protects portions of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
The South Sierra Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area in the Southern Sierra Nevada, in eastern California. It is located 65 miles (105 km) northeast of Bakersfield, and is southwest of Owens Lake and Olancha.
The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Fresno, in the state of California, United States. It comprises 30,000 acres (12,141 ha) within the Sierra National Forest and was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by the California Wilderness Act of 1984.
The Kaiser Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness protected area located 70 miles (110 km) northeast of Fresno in the state of California, USA. It was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System by the United States Congress on October 19, 1976. The wilderness is 22,700 acres (92 km2) in size, is one of five wilderness areas within the Sierra National Forest and is managed by the US Forest Service.
The Mount Shasta Wilderness is a 38,200-acre (155 km2) federally designated wilderness area located 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Mount Shasta City in northern California. The US Congress passed the 1984 California Wilderness Act that set aside the Mount Shasta Wilderness. The US Forest Service is the managing agency as the wilderness is within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. The area is named for and is dominated by the Mount Shasta volcano which reaches a traditionally quoted height of 14,162 feet (4,317 m) above sea level, but official sources give values ranging from 14,104 feet (4,299 m) from one USGS project, to 14,179 feet (4,322 m) via the NOAA. Mount Shasta is one of only two peaks in the state over 14,000 feet (4,300 m) outside the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The other summit is White Mountain Peak in the Great Basin of east-central California.
The Marble Mountain Wilderness is a 241,744-acre (978.30 km2) wilderness area located 60 miles (97 km) southwest of Yreka, California, in the United States. It is managed by the United States Forest Service and is within the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County. The land was first set aside in April 1931 as the Marble Mountain Primitive Area, which comprised 234,957 acres (950.84 km2). It was one of four areas to gain primitive status under the Forest Service's L-20 regulations that year. In 1964, it became a federally designated wilderness area when the U.S. Congress passed the Wilderness Act.
The Russian Wilderness is a wilderness area of 12,000 acres (49 km2) located approximately 65 miles (105 km) northeast of Eureka in northern California. It is within the Klamath National Forest in Siskiyou County and is managed by the US Forest Service. It was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System when the US Congress passed the California Wilderness Act of 1984.
The Dardanelles and Freel Roadless Areas are located 7 miles (11 km) and 3 miles (4.8 km), respectively, south of Lake Tahoe, California, and both are managed by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the US Forest Service.These areas are contiguous, separated only by the corridor of highway 89. The historic Hawley Grade, an immigrant wagon road, now a hiking trail, is within the Dardanelles Roadless Area, as well as the watershed of Lake Tahoe's largest inflow, the Upper Truckee River.
Round Top is a 10,381-foot (3,164 m) mountain located on the Sierra crest in Alpine County, California, United States. Its summit is the highest point in Eldorado National Forest and the Mokelumne Wilderness. The mountain lies just south of Carson Pass. With 2,541 feet (774 m) of prominence, Round Top is the 16th most prominent mountain in the Sierra Nevada.
Adkinson, Ron Wild Northern California. The Globe Pequot Press, 2001