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Sylvania Mountains Wilderness
IUCN Category Ib (Wilderness Area)
Map of the United States
Location Inyo County, California, USA
Nearest city Bishop, California
Coordinates 37°22′41″N 117°46′23″W / 37.37806°N 117.77306°W / 37.37806; -117.77306Coordinates: 37°22′41″N 117°46′23″W / 37.37806°N 117.77306°W / 37.37806; -117.77306
Area 18,677 acres
Established 1994
Governing body Department of the Interior / Bureau 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 18,677[1]acres in size and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 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 feet (1,410 m) to 7,970 feet (2,430 m).

There are limited water sources, but the springs that do exist support mule deer, bighorn sheep, chukar partridge, 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 Mormon tea, Hop-sage, cheesebush, deerhorn cholla and in the highest elevations, single-leaf pinyon pine, big sagebrush and Utah juniper. Rare plants in the area include fernleaf fleabane (Erigeron compactus), a native perennial wildflower, and Mormon needle grass (Achnatherum aridum), also a native perennial that grows in Joshua Tree and Pinyon-Juniper woodland commnities.

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. From March through May wildflower season is in full bloom.

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

The BLM encourages the Leave No Trace principles of wilderness travel to minimize impact on the environment.

See also

Pack it in, pack it out

Environmental ethics

Footnotes

References

Adkinson, Ron Wild Northern California. The Globe Pequot Press, 2001

External links

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