The Owens River Headwaters Wilderness was designated through President Obama's signing of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act on March 31, 2009. This 14,721 acre wilderness protects the headwaters of the Owens River, an area of forested mountains and alpine meadows on the east side of the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains between June Lake and Mammoth Lakes, California. This area contains exceptionally diverse landforms and habitat including the expansive subalpine Glass Creek Meadow, and the regions largest old growth red fir forest. The San Joaquin Ridge forms the western boundary of the wilderness, which is contiguous with the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The relatively low elevation ridge allows moisture from Pacific storms to carry over the mountains. The abundant moisture has created an island of wet meadows and forested ridges on the dry side of the Sierra Nevada. The natural beauty and ease of access make headwaters of the Owens River are an enticing recreation destination. The river and its tributaries are prized by anglers. The peaks and lakes along the San Joaquin Ridge are accessible by day-hikes. The diversity of habitats makes for an ideal area for nature study. And with abundant snowpack, the area is a favored locale for backcountry snow sports.
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 Owens River Headwaters 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.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 - Public law 111-11 (3/30/2009) An act to designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.