Garcia Wilderness preserves the long east-west ridge of Garcia Mountain and separates Santa Lucia and Machesna Mountain Wildernesses. Here you'll find rugged, chaparral-cloaked slopes and oak woodlands highlighted by meadows, grasslands, and lush creekside vegetation. A remarkable diversity of plant and animal life populates the area, and spring reveals a vibrant display of wildflower color. The Caldwell Mesa Trail offers 11 miles of varied terrain, from quiet meadows to strenuously uphill, rocky slopes. The Sellars Potrero Trail leaves Caldwell Mesa to travel five miles east to the boundary near the Salinas River. The Avenales Trail wanders four miles from Stoney Creek northeast over Garcia Mountain to the Salinas River. Fires are permitted in established fire rings at Balm of Gilead and Buckeye only.
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 Garcia Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.