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Chimney Peak Wilderness
IUCN Category Ib (Wilderness Area)
Location Tulare County, California, USA
Nearest city Ridgecrest, California
Coordinates 35°50′56″N 118°05′09″W / 35.84889°N 118.08583°W / 35.84889; -118.08583Coordinates: 35°50′56″N 118°05′09″W / 35.84889°N 118.08583°W / 35.84889; -118.08583
Area 13,134 acres
Established Oct.31, 1994
Governing body Bureau of Land Management

The Chimney Peak Wilderness is a 13,134-acre [1] wilderness area located 20 miles northwest of Ridgecrest, in southeastern Tulare County, California. The 1994 California Desert Protection Act (Public Law 103-433) created the wilderness and it is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Department of the Interior.

The Chimney Peak Wilderness protects a rugged and mountainous desert environment on the eastern side of the southern Sierra Nevada Range. The peak for which it is named rises in the northeast corner of the wilderness to an elevation of 7,871 feet.[2] The area has desert plants such as the Joshua tree and creosote bush on the valley floors and in steep foothills, canyons and alluvial fans as well as cottonwood trees along stream corridors. Higher elevations support pinyon pine.

A portion of the Sacatar Trail, an old wagon road into the Owens Valley once used by soldiers and cattlemen,[3] cross the Chimney Peak Wilderness as does the Pacific Crest Trail.

Recreation includes hunting, hiking, horseback riding, fishing and camping/backpacking. No motorized vehicles or mechanical equipment is allowed within a wilderness-designated area.

The BLM began a "byway" program in 1989 which is a tour by automobile through or near scenic public lands. This program designates "backcountry byways" along secondary roads. The Chimney Peak Backcountry Byway can be accessed from State Route 178, is over 38 miles in length and travels through Lamont Meadow, circles around Chimney Peak and returns to Canebrake Road at Lamont Meadow.[4]

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