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Bright Star Wilderness

General Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws


The United States Congress designated the Bright Star Wilderness (map) in 1994 and it now has a total of 8,191 acres. All of this wilderness is located in California and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


Bright Star Canyon encloses Kelso Creek and leaves Sequoia National Forest to cross the southern portion of the BLM's Bright Star Wilderness. In the northwest portion, Cortez Canyon has been carved out of the Kelso Mountains. In the northeast portion, Kelso Peak stands at 5,090 feet with drainages falling off to the north, south, and east. To the west, the Kelso Mountains join the Piute Mountains outside the Wilderness.

The upper slopes are dotted with piƱon pine and juniper, while the lower slopes are brushy and broken by large granite outcroppings. The valley below is boulder-strewn and dense with Joshua trees. Here the Mojave Desert meets the Sierra Nevada, allowing for a wide variety of wildlife. The entire Wilderness lies within the BLM's Jawbone-Butterbredt Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

There are no designated trails for backpackers.

Planning to Visit the Bright Star 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 Bright Star 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.