Wilderness Areas & Ecological Reserves

Dinkey Lakes Wilderness
The Dinkey Lakes Wilderness lies southeast of Huntington Lake, with most of it above 8,000 feet. Sixteen lakes are clustered in the west central region of the wilderness. (559) 855-5360

John Muir Wilderness
The John Muir Wilderness covers 584,000 acres in the Sierra and Inyo National Forests. Elevations range from 4,000 feet to over 14,000 feet at Mt Whitney, and many peaks are above 13,000 feet making this a destination for backpackers and climbers. (559) 297-0706

Kaiser Wilderness
The Kaiser Wilderness is located immediately north of Huntington Lake. The southern half of the wilderness is characterized by dense Red Fir and Jeffery Pine forests that extend up the gradual south slope of Kaiser Ridge. The top of the ridge is in the alpine zone. This northern region contains 18 small lakes. (559) 297-0706

Little Panoche Reservoir Wildlife Area
Located 30 miles west of Firebaugh, this Wildlife Area is 828 acres in the arid foothills with nice grassy fields. The cattail-lined lake often provides good fishing. It also provides an opportunity for birdwatching, or for hunting during the waterfowl season. Shrub- covered hills surround the reservoir. Foot access only. Kit fox, kangaroo rats, and over 100 species of birds, including golden eagles, and California quail can be found here. (209) 826-0463

Mendota Wildlife Refuge
Mendota is home to the 11,825 acre Mendota Wildlife Area, just 3 miles southeast of the city, where wildgame and waterfowl abound. Sportsmen are attracted for the great hunting and fishing opportunities in the area, while the diversity of the offerings in the area also attracts nature study, photography, sightseeing, boating, picnicking, dog training/field trials and birding. Birders will find more than 165 species known to reside on the area including shorebirds, songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and wading birds. Hunters will find game species including ducks, geese, snipes, coots, doves, pheasants, rabbits, and raccoons. The 600 acres that make up the Fresno Slough offer anglers opportunities to catch crappie, catfish, bluegill, carp and striped bass. (559) 655-4645

Mono Hot Springs
Mono Hot Springs is located on the South Fork of the San Joaquin River in the Sierra National Forest’s Ansel Adams Wilderness and offers a serene destination for the adventurous who seek a spectacular wilderness experience, deep in the high country of the Sierras. It's an exceptional location, with fantastic trout fishing, scenery, hiking, boating, horseback riding, and of course the healthful soak in the Hot Springs. In the winter, it is separated from the rest of the world by an exhilarating 17 mile snowmobile or cross country journey. Visitors can stay at one of the area Forest Service Campgrounds or neighboring properties in Lakeshore, Huntington Lake or Shaver. In addition there is a lodge in the heart of Mono Hot Springs, the historical Mono Hot Springs Resort established in 1935. (559) 325-1710