Sylvania Mountains Wilderness

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Sylvania Mountains Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Sylvania Mountains Wilderness
Map showing the location of Sylvania Mountains Wilderness
Map of the United States
LocationInyo County, California, USA
Nearest cityBishop, California
Coordinates37°22′41″N 117°46′26″W / 37.3779867°N 117.7739777°W / 37.3779867; -117.7739777Coordinates: 37°22′41″N 117°46′26″W / 37.3779867°N 117.7739777°W / 37.3779867; -117.7739777[1]
Area18,682 acres (7,560 ha)[2]
Governing bodyBureau of Land Management

The Sylvania Mountains Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 30 miles (48 km) east of Bishop in the state of California. The wilderness is 18,677acres in size and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).[3] The California Desert Protection Act of 1994[4] created the Sylvania Mountains Wilderness and was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System. The wilderness is bordered by Nevada stateline on the east, Piper Mountain Wilderness on the west and Death Valley National Park to the south.


The Sylvania Mountains are a subrange of the Last Chance Mountains and straddle the California-Nevada border. There is no distinct crest, only rounded summits and ridges with many canyons, drainages and bahadas (fans of alluvial soil that have combined at the base of canyons). Elevations range from 4,640 to 7,970 feet (1,410 to 2,430 m).

Flora and fauna[edit]

There are limited water sources, but the springs that do exist support mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, chukar, coyote, as well as ground squirrels and lizards.

The wilderness flora is a mixture of Mojave Desert and Great Basin plant life. Joshua trees are numerous, as well as desert tea, hop sage, cheesebush, deerhorn cholla and in the highest elevations, single-leaf pinyon, big sagebrush and Utah juniper. Rare plants in the area include fernleaf fleabane (Erigeron compactus), a native perennial wildflower, and Mormon needlegrass (Achnatherum aridum), a native perennial that grows in Joshua Tree and Pinyon-juniper woodland communities.


The hiking trails are closed four-wheel-drive roads and rise gradually from the bahada to pinyon woodlands in the higher elevations. The most rugged area is the White Cliff Canyon in the eastern portion with cliffs rising 800 feet (240 m) above the canyon floor. The wilderness is very seldom visited due to a lack of water and extreme temperatures in the summer months. Wildflower season is from March through May.

Relics of mining activity are still present both within the wilderness and along the mountain range into Nevada.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sylvania Mountains Wilderness". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  2. ^ "Sylvania Mountains Wilderness". Bureau of Land Management.
  3. ^ a b "Final Official Legal Description for the Sylvania Mountains Wilderness" (PDF). Bureau of Land Management.
  4. ^ "Summary of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994". Library of Congress.

External links[edit]