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Owens Peak Wilderness

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Brilliant lavender flowers carpet the desert floor in front of granite cliffs.
Library image #2438: Wildflowers and granite cliffs, Owens Ridge


The United States Congress designated the Owens Peak Wilderness (map) in 1994 and it now has a total of 73,868 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


Owens Peak, a high point in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains at more than 8,400 feet, stands near the center of Owens Peak Wilderness. It presides over mountainous terrain with deep, winding canyons, many with rich riparian vegetation fed by bubbling springs. Here the Sierra Nevada meets the Great Basin and the Mojave Desert, creating unusual overlapping ecosystem. You'll find creosote bush scrub communities, Joshua trees, cactuses, and flowering annuals presenting dramatic wildflower displays. Canyons are home to cottonwoods, willow, oaks, juniper, piƱon, sagebrush and grey pines. The highest elevations have stands of sugar pine. Mule deer graze beneath golden eagles and prairie falcons. You may see evidence of human use dating back to prehistoric times.

The Pacific Crest Trail crosses through the wilderness north-south. Other trails connect the PCT to intersect with roads outside the Wilderness.

Planning to Visit the Owens Peak 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 Owens Peak 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.