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Garcia Wilderness

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The United States Congress designated the Garcia Wilderness (map) in 1992 and it now has a total of 13,992 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Forest Service.


Garcia Wilderness preserves the long east-west ridge of Garcia Mountain and separates Santa Lucia and Machesna Mountain Wildernesses. Here you'll find rugged, chaparral-cloaked slopes and oak woodlands highlighted by meadows, grasslands, and lush creekside vegetation. A remarkable diversity of plant and animal life populates the area, and spring reveals a vibrant display of wildflower color. The Caldwell Mesa Trail offers 11 miles of varied terrain, from quiet meadows to strenuously uphill, rocky slopes. The Sellars Potrero Trail leaves Caldwell Mesa to travel five miles east to the boundary near the Salinas River. The Avenales Trail wanders four miles from Stoney Creek northeast over Garcia Mountain to the Salinas River. Fires are permitted in established fire rings at Balm of Gilead and Buckeye only.

Planning to Visit the Garcia Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Garcia Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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