The United States Congress designated the Kaiser Wilderness (map
) in 1976 and it now has a total of 21,986 acres
All of this wilderness is located in California
and is managed by the Forest Service.
Kaiser Ridge divides this Wilderness into two distinctly different areas. The southern portion rises gradually from near the crowded north shore of Huntington Lake under stands of Jeffrey pine and red fir until it reaches the alpine zone on the ridge. The northern half is much more open, with a steep descent from the ridgeline to 18 small lakes. Most of the lakes require cross-country travel to reach. The northern portion receives heavy human use, but you'll leave the crowds behind if you strike out for the steep, rugged northwest section. Most of Kaiser Ridge is comprised of Kaiser Peak, which lifts to 10,320 feet and provides an excellent view of the central Sierra Nevada from its summit. Snow usually begins to fall in October and refuses to disappear until early June. Immediately to the east lies John Muir Wilderness. Four trailheads open onto the southern portion. The trail from Upper Billy Creek Campground offers a loop that traverses the ridge for about seven miles to the summit of Kaiser Peak, with an option to drop off into the northern portion. Four trailheads open onto the northern area. The primary point of entry in the north is from Sample Meadow Campground.