Embracing the eroded hills, canyons, and bajadas of the Scodie Mountains--the southernmost reach of the Sierra Nevada--Kiavah Wilderness lies primarily within Sequoia National Forest but includes a portion on BLM land. Here in the transition zone between the Sierra Nevada and the Mojave Desert, you'll find an unusual mix of plants and animals: creosote bush, Joshua tree, burro bush, and shadscale growing near pinion pine, juniper, canyon oak, and gray pine; yellow-eared pocket mice and lizards watching the skies for raptors.
Trails enter from all sides, often fading into the terrain. The Pacific Crest Trail enters on the northeast from Walker Pass and crosses the area for 16 miles, exiting over Bird Spring Pass to the south. Four-wheel-drive roads forge into the area on non-Wilderness intrusions from the east up Horse Canyon and Cow Heaven Canyon, both accessible from State Highway 14. You should be able to find water in numerous springs. However, due to the arid environment and dry conditions be sure to carry plenty of water. Potable drinking water may not be available year round. Visitors should not drink from creeks and springs without properly treating the water. Recommended treatment is to bring clear water to a rolling boil for 5 minutes or use a filter/purifying system that eliminates giardia and waterborne bacteria.
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 Kiavah 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.
California Desert Protection Act of 1994 - Public Law 103-433 (10/31/1994) "California Desert Protection Act of 1994" An Act to designate certain lands in the California Desert as wilderness, to establish the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, to establish the Mojave National Preserve, and for other purposes.