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Great Falls Basin Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws
Photograph taken in  the Great Falls Basin Wilderness
Tom Budlong


The United States Congress designated the Great Falls Basin Wilderness (map) in 2019 and it now has a total of 7,810 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


A perennial spring supplies the water flowing through a short distance in the Great Falls Basin Wilderness, and that reach has cut a narrow and deep slot in the bedrock forming several falls. The steep mountainous terrain includes granite outcrops which provide opportunities for cross country hiking and exploration. Elevations range from 2,000-4,500 feet. Vegetation is mixed desert scrub, with the dominant plant being creosote. In the higher elevations, the vegetation changes to heavier upland scrub with yucca, mountain mahogany, and some pinyon and juniper trees. The Inyo brown towhee, a state-listed rare bird species, frequents the basin, as do desert bighorn sheep.

Visitors might not think of the desert as a place for water, but year-round water creates a cooling and refreshing hideaway in this normally hot desert.

Planning to Visit the Great Falls Basin 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 Great Falls Basin 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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