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Kiavah Wilderness




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General Information

Description - The Kiavah Wilderness was created by Congress and signed into law in November 1994. It is located on both the Sequoia National Forest and Bureau of Land Management. The total acreage is 88,290. This wilderness encompasses the eroded hills, canyons and bajadas of the Scodie Mountain within the Sequoia National Forest. A unique mixing of several different species of plants and animals occurs within the transition zone between the Mojave Desert and Sierra Nevada. Desert plants such as creosote bush, Joshua tree, burro bush and shadescale may be found in close association with pinyon pine, juniper, canyon oak and grey pine. The varied vegetation provides habitat for a great diversity of wildlife over a small geographic area. Species of note include raptors, the yellow-eared pocket mouse, a variety of lizards, and a number of migrant and resident bird species. This wilderness is part of a National Cooperative Land and Wildlife Management and the Bureau of Land Management Jawbone-Butterbredt Area of Critical Environmental Concern, which was designated to protect outstanding wildlife and Native American values. Access from the north via Kelso Valley Road from State Highway 178 west of Inyokern; and from the east via State Highway 14, and numerous routes into Cow Heaven Canyon (SC51), Sage Canyon (SC56), and Horse Canyon (SC65), which are four-wheel drive only, and Bird Spring Pass(SC120).

Attractions - Sequoia trail users have more than 800 miles of maintained roads and 1,000 miles of forest for their use and enjoyment. More than 1,300 square miles of non-wilderness are open to bicycle use, with some restrictions. The Cannell Meadow Ranger District provides 2 major trailheads, 3 day use areas, and 11 motorized trail routes. Operating season, group size, handicap accessibility, water and restroom facilities vary.

About 45 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, which stretches 2,650 miles from Canada to Mexico, crosses the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Campgrounds on the Sequoia National Forest and The Giant Sequoia National Monument offer more than 50 developed areas; large motor homes and trailers cannot be accommodated in some campgrounds, and electric and sewer hookups are not available. There are family and group campgrounds, fee and free campsites, first-come, first-served sites, and sites that can be reserved. The camping season is generally from late-May through mid-October, weather permitting. Some campgrounds are open year-round. In addition, almost all National Forest System land is available for you to choose your own camping spot. The Cannell Meadow Ranger District has 10 family-style campgrounds and one group camp.

The Kern River is a tumbling mountain stream originating in the High Sierra near Mount Whitney. Camping, picnicking, fishing, rafting, and kayaking bring thousands to its banks each year. Waters of the Kern, along with other rivers in the area, can be treacherous, as changing water levels, hidden rocks, and swift currents make the rivers unsafe for swimming.

South Sierra Wilderness is a relatively gentle terrain of 24,650 acres on the Sequoia National Forest portion is ideally suited to family oriented recreation. The more adventurous can frequent the 38,350 acres along the Sierra Crest on the Inyo National Forest which completes the 63,000 acre South Sierra Wilderness. Exposed rock is mostly granitic with some volcanic features. Elevations range from 6,100 feet to 12,123 feet.

Dome Land Wilderness is known for its many granite domes and unique geologic formations. The semiarid to arid country has elevations ranging from 3,000 to 9,730 feet.

The Kiavah Wilderness covers 88,290 acres in the Scodie Mountains, on lands managed by both the Sequoia National Forest and Bureau of Land Management. This wilderness includes eroded hills, canyons, and bajadas in the transition zone between the Mojave Desert and the Sierra Nevada. The Pacific Crest trail runs the length of the Kiavah Wilderness.

Cross-country skiing, snow play and snowmobiling are popular activities in the Forest and Monument during winter months. Specific winter activity areas accessible by highway are found on all the districts. Snowmobiling is limited to roads in the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Many roads in the monument are groomed for this use. For specific information and locations contact the ranger district offices.

Recreation - Wilderness exploration, hiking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, and sightseeing is just a sampling of the recreations enjoyed on Cannell Meadow Ranger District.

Climate - Elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation on the Sequoia National Forest. Precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, much of it comes in the form of snow. Winter temperatures well below freezing and summer temperatures above 100 degrees F indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce thunderstorm activity. It is wise to pack for any season when venturing into the high country, with clothing that can be layered and ready to peel off or add as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.

Location - Cannell Meadow Ranger District is part of the southern unit bordered on the north by Inyo National Forest and on the south by Kernville and the South Fork Valley. The area surrounding Scodie Mountains / Pinyon Peak is also part of the Cannell Meadow Ranger District.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
Yes
ICON Fishing
Yes
ICON Hiking & Walking
Yes
ICON Horseback Riding
Yes
ICON Mountain Biking
Yes
ICON Motorcycle Riding
Yes


More Information

Additional Information:
Cannell Meadow Ranger District - Rugged and remote outdoor adventure is plentiful on the Cannell Meadow Ranger District which boasts one of America's foremost mountain streams and two designated national wilderness areas.

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