The California Desert Protection Act designated Owens Peak and the 74,060 acres surrounding it as wilderness in 1994. At 8,400 feet, Owens Peak provides a grand overview of this wilderness which sees relatively little use from humans.
With the Pacific Crest Trail passing through the wilderness, this is an excellent hiking area. Other recreational opportunities are camping, backpacking and hunting. The ruggedness of this area and the vegetation make for some excellent photographic opportunities.
Vegetation varies considerably with a creosote desert scrub community on the bajadas, scattered yuccas, cacti, annuals, cottonwood, and oak trees in the canyons and valleys and juniper-pinyon woodlands with sagebrush and grey pine on the upper elevations. Two sensitive plants, Nine Mile Canyon phacelia (Phacelia novenmillensis), occurs in the pinyon woodlands and monkey flower (Mimulas shevocki) grows at lower elevations ranging from 3,500 – 4,000 feet immediately west of Walker Pass.
Wildlife of note in this area includes mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, golden eagle, and prairie falcon. There is one cattle exclosure at the Powers Well in the eastern portion of the wilderness. There are four spring developments and one guzzler located in the western portion of the wilderness maintained by BLM and CDFG.
No permit is required for camping in the Owen’s Peak Wilderness - go for it! Camping is limited to 14 days, after which visitors must relocate at least 25 miles from their previous site.
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
No more than 15 people and 25 head of stock are allowed on overnight trips. Why?
BEARS AND FOOD STORAGE
Black bears are generally not a problem in the Owen’s Peak Wilderness, but it is always advisable to store your food properly.
Campfires are allowed with a campfire permit. Gathering wood for campfires is limited to dead and down materials. Live vegetation cannot be cut.
Domestic pets are allowed so long as they are under control and do not harass wildlife.
- Horses are permitted, however, you may be required to carry weed-free feed.
- Removal, disturbance, or attempting to remove archaeological materials is a felony. Selling, receiving, purchasing, transporting, exchanging, or offering to do so is prohibited by law.
Bureau of Land Management
Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93308
Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Road
Ridgecrest, CA 93555