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.