|South Sierra Wilderness|
|Location||Tulare and Inyo counties, California, United States|
|Nearest city||Ridgecrest, California|
|Area||62,700 acres (254 km2)|
|Governing body||United States Forest Service|
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.
Created with the passage of the California Wilderness Act of 1984 by the U.S. Congress, the South Sierra Wilderness is 62,700 acres (254 km2) in size. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and within Sequoia National Forest and Inyo National Forest.
The South Sierra Wilderness is the southernmost Forest Service-managed section of a continuous chain of wilderness areas protecting the Sierra Nevada crest from Walker Pass to Lake Tahoe.
Elevations range from about 6,100 feet (1,900 m) near Kennedy Meadows, up to 12,132 feet (3,698 m) at Olancha Peak. The Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Kern River bisects the wilderness on the east side, in a north–south direction.
Wildlife includes the large Monache mule deer herd, the sensitive Sierra Nevada red fox, pine martens, mountain lions, and American black bears.
Two very different landscapes with distinct habitats are protected within the South Sierra Wilderness:
Rare California native plants observed in the area are Kern ceanothus (Ceanothus pinetorum), a locally endemic shrub found on slopes in pine and red fir forests, at elevations between 5,000 and 9,000 feet (1,500 and 2,700 m). Ceanothus pinetorum is not currently state or federally listed under the Endangered Species Act, but is considered by the California Native Plant Society as "uncommon enough that their status should be monitored regularly".
Rare wildflowers include Kern Canyon clarkia ( Clarkia xantiana ssp. parviflora) and goosefoot yellow violet ( Viola pinetorum ssp. grisea), both are also endemic to California.
Recreational activities include backpacking, day hiking, fishing, rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing and snowshoeing. The majority of trail users are summer grazing allotment permittees, and autumn hunters.
There are six trailheads leading into the wilderness, and one campground, Kennedy Meadows, providing access to:
The John Muir Trail (JMT) is a long-distance trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, passing through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. From the northern terminus at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley and the southern terminus located on the summit of Mount Whitney, the trail's length is 213.7 miles (343.9 km), with a total elevation gain of approximately 47,000 feet (14,000 m). For almost all of its length, the trail is in the High Sierra backcountry and wilderness areas. For about 160 miles (260 km), the trail follows the same footpath as the longer Pacific Crest Trail. It is named after John Muir, a naturalist.
The Ansel Adams Wilderness is a wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada of California, United States. The wilderness spans 231,533 acres (93,698 ha); 33.9% of the territory lies in the Inyo National Forest, 65.8% is in the Sierra National Forest, and the remaining 0.3% covers nearly all of Devils Postpile National Monument. Yosemite National Park lies to the north and northwest, while the John Muir Wilderness lies to the south.
Sequoia National Park is an American national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California. The park was established on September 25, 1890, to protect 404,064 acres of forested mountainous terrain. Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly 13,000 feet (4,000 m), the park contains the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level. The park is south of, and contiguous with, Kings Canyon National Park; both parks are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. UNESCO designated the areas as Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
The John Muir Wilderness is a wilderness area that extends along the crest of the Sierra Nevada of California for 90 miles (140 km), in the Inyo and Sierra National Forests. Established in 1964 by the Wilderness Act and named for naturalist John Muir, it contains 581,000 acres (2,350 km2). The wilderness lies along the eastern escarpment of the Sierra from near Mammoth Lakes and Devils Postpile National Monument in the north, to Cottonwood Pass near Mount Whitney in the south. The wilderness area also spans the Sierra crest north of Kings Canyon National Park, and extends on the west side of the park down to the Monarch Wilderness.
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.
Sequoia National Forest is located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The U.S. National Forest is named for the majestic Giant Sequoia trees which populate 38 distinct groves within the boundaries of the forest.
Inyo National Forest is a United States National Forest covering parts of the eastern Sierra Nevada of California and the White Mountains of California and Nevada. The forest hosts several superlatives, including Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States; Boundary Peak, highest point in Nevada; and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest that protects the oldest trees in the world. The forest, encompassing much of Owens Valley, was established by Theodore Roosevelt as a way of sectioning off land to accommodate the Los Angeles Aqueduct project in 1907, making the Inyo National Forest one of the least wooded forests in the United States' system.
Tahoe National Forest is a United States National Forest located in California, northwest of Lake Tahoe. It includes the 8,587-foot (2,617 m) peak of Sierra Buttes, near Sierra City, which has views of Mount Lassen and Mount Shasta. It is located in parts of six counties: Sierra, Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Plumas and El Dorado. The forest has a total area of 871,495 acres. Its headquarters is in Nevada City, California. There are local ranger district offices in Camptonville, Foresthill, Sierraville and Truckee.
Eldorado National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in the central Sierra Nevada mountain range, in eastern California.
State Route 190 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that is split into two parts by the Sierra Nevada. The western portion begins at Tipton at a junction with State Route 99 and heads east towards Porterville before ending at Quaking Aspen in the Sequoia National Forest. The eastern portion begins at US 395 at Olancha, heads east through Death Valley National Park, and ends at State Route 127 at Death Valley Junction. The 43.0-mile (69.2 km) portion over the Sierra Nevada remains unconstructed, and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has no plans to build it through the wilderness areas. SR 190 is a National Scenic Byway known as the Death Valley Scenic Byway.
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.
The Kiavah Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located in the Mojave Desert, Scodie Mountains, and southern Sierra Nevada in Kern County, California, United States. California State Route 178 connects the town of Lake Isabella to State Highway 14 in the east, crossing Walker Pass at the north boundary of the wilderness.
The Domeland Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 55 miles (89 km) northeast of Bakersfield, California USA. It encompasses 130,081 acres (526.42 km2), is jointly managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is mostly within the Sequoia National Forest.
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 Golden Trout Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area in the Sierra Nevada, in Tulare County and Inyo County, California. It is located 40 miles (64 km) east of Porterville, California within Inyo National Forest and Sequoia National Forest.
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 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.
Mono Hot Springs is a summer resort and campground at a group of hot springs in Fresno County, central California. It is located within the Sierra National Forest, 70 miles (110 km) northeast of Fresno via California State Route 168.
The Silver Knapsack Trail is a 36.2-mile (58.3 km) trail located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, near Johnsondale, Springville, and Three Rivers, California. It is located in Sequoia National Forest and the southernmost part of Sequoia National Park. Much of the trail lies within the Golden Trout Wilderness.
Adkinson, Ron Wild Northern California, The Globe Pequot Press, 2001
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