Dome Land Wilderness
Hiking & Horse Trails

Information & Maps provided by US Forest Service / Department of Agriculture

| Description & Additions | Location & Trails Access | Fishing/Hunting | Camping | Ethics | Regulations | Additional Info |

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Dome Land Wilderness

Dome Land Wilderness is beautiful, but remember that it is also primitive, and you will be on your own! Before going in, check with the local Ranger Station for latest conditions and hazards.


Dome Land is the southern most wilderness in the Sierra Nevada. It is located at the southern end of the Kern Plateau about 70 miles northeast of Bakersfield.

Approximately 32,000 acres have been added to the existing Wilderness, mostly on the north and east sides. Several ecosystems here join to form unique plant and animal communities. This biological laboratory is made even more unique by virtue of its being bisected by the South Fork of the Kern River, the southernmost Golden Trout habitat in the state. Fish Creek is a tributary of the river in this portion.

The original 62,695 acres are known for its many granite domes and unique geologic formations. The semi-arid to arid country has elevations ranging from 3,000 to 9,730 feet. Vegetation is mostly mixed conifer and piñon. The South Fork of the Kern and tributary streams attract many fishermen. Some areas of the Wilderness are extremely rugged while others have a more gentle terrain.

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Dome Land, with a total acreage of 94,695, has about 45 miles of hiking/horse trails. Trailheads on the east side are near Rockhouse Meadow and at the Long Valley Campground (BLM). Access is via Nine Mile Canyon Road (J41) from US Highway 395 or Chimney Peak Road via State Highway 178. West side trailheads are at Big Meadow and Taylor Meadow. Two trails from Big Meadow can be reached from Kernville via Tulare County Road M99, Sherman Pass, and Cherry Hill Roads. Leading to Manter Meadow, the upper Big Meadow Trail is a rugged hike while the lower Big Meadow Trail follows more gentle terrain. The trail from Taylor Meadow (southeast of Big Meadow) also leads to Manter Meadow. North side access is available from the Blackrock/ Sherman Pass Road via the Dark Canyon and Woodpecker trails.

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Fishing and hunting is permitted under State regulations.

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Manter Meadow is popular along with other camp sites located at Little Manter Meadow, Woodpecker Meadow, Rockhouse Meadow, and in the Bartolas Country at the south end of the Wilderness.

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Minimize impact by camping at least 100' from streams and trails. Pack out what you pack in. Bury body waste 6 inches deep. Keep fires small and leave them DEAD OUT by mixing ashes with water and soil. Do everything you can to protect water sources from contamination. PRACTICE LEAVE NO TRACE!


Visitors should not drink from creeks and springs without properly treating the water. Recommended treatment is to bring clear water to a rolling boil for 5 minutes or use a filter/purifying system.

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All mechanized equipment and vehicles, including mountain bikes, are prohibited within the Wilderness areas. A maximum group size of 15 people / 25 head of stock per party has been adopted. A visitor permit is not required for entering the wilderness but a campfire permit is required for gas lanterns, stoves, and campfires. Please check with a National Forest office for current information, conditions, and regulations.

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Detailed road, trail, and topo maps for the South Sierra, Golden Trout, and Dome Land Wilderness areas are for sale at some of the following locations:

Kern River Ranger District
PO Box 6
105 Whitney Road
Kernville, CA 93238
(760) 376-3781 (Voice/ext. 202 TDD)
Lake Isabella Visitor Center
PO Box 3810
4875 Ponderosa Drive
Lake Isabella, CA 93240
(760) 379-5646 (Voice/TDD)
Inyo National Forest
Mt. Whitney Ranger District
PO Box 8
Lone Pine, CA 93545
(760) 876-6200
(760) 876-5542 (TDD)

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs and marital or familial status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA Office of Communication at (202) 720-5881 (voice) or (202) 720-7808 (TDD).
To file a complaint, write the Secretary of Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., 20250, or call (202) 720-7327 (voice) or (202) 720-1127 (TDD). USDA is an equal employment opportunity employer.

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© 1995 The Kern Valley Canyon Connection / M.L. Ludiker - All rights reserved.
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