There are three BLM Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in the Bodie Hills.

Bodie WSA

The Heart of the Bodie Hills
Acreage: 16,482

Natural Values:

From the pinyon pine and juniper rising out of rocky canyon walls, to the aspen and willow stands growing alongside streams, the Bodie WSA provides optimal habitat for many eastern Sierran fauna. Sage grouse strut through the dried lakebeds, and mule deer mothers keep a watchful eye on their fawns as they graze on bitterbrush.

To the northeast, a large cinder cone, Beauty Peak, rises over Dry Lakes Plateau, a volcanic tableland dotted with ephemeral lakes. The flatness of the plateau offers a break from the surrounding hilly landscape.

Cultural Values:

To the south, the Bodie WSA borders the Bodie State Historic Park, a preserve of the mining ghost town of Bodie. The presence of obsidian and pinyon nuts suggests this area was very important to the Paiute Indians.

Recreational Values:

Hike through the narrow canyons of Rough and Atastra Creeks, or hike up to the Dry Lakes plateau to gaze upon Beauty Peaks.


Bodie Mountain WSA

Acreage: 23,934

Natural Values:

Like other WSAs in the Bodie Hills Complex, Bodie Mountain's topography and geology were formed by volcanic activity. And, the topography has it all - from rolling hills to steep, rocky escarpments. Vegetation varies as well - with pinyons and junipers in rocky higher elevation areas, dense aspen groves in riparian areas, and sagebrush in lower valleys. Canyons and meadows further add to the structural and biological mosaic of the Bodie Mountains. This area is optimal fawning habitat for mule deer, and also supports sage grouse and waterfowl.

The Big Alkali Basin, located in the center of the WSA, is a wetland area with hot springs. Colorful Rainbow Trout can be found in Clark Canyon Creek.

Cultural Values:

Large sources of obsidian rock, used by the Paiute Indians to make arrowheads and tools, give the area cultural importance.

In addition, there are some features found in this WSA that are associated with the historic ghost town of Bodie, such as a historic Chinese settlement and a wood pole transmission line. The transmission line was the first infrastructure built to transmit electricity over long distances.

Recreational Values:

This is great terrain for cross country skiing. The hot springs are a great place to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Other activities: backpacking, camping, photography, horseback riding, OHV use on designated roads, deer hunting.


Mt. Biedeman WSA


Natural Values:

The most prominent geographic landform in this WSA, Mt. Biedeman makes a wonderful Great Basin day hike. With its steep, rugged terrain and brushy surface, the hike may seem discouraging at first, but this jolly, rounded landform is really quite friendly and offers an unmatched view of Mono Lake and the Central Sierra.

In addition to Mt. Biedeman, there are two adjoining mountains in the center of this WSA. There are also numerous canyons, streams, meadows, and aspen groves.

Mule deer fawns prance clumsily in grassy meadows. In their quest for true love, male sage grouse strut their macho display. Clusters of little yellow heads of a rare flower, the Mono County Phacelia, grow in the sandy soils.

Cultural Values:

Mt. Biedeman WSA is in the ethnographic territory of the Mono Lake Paiute Indian Tribe. The area is used for pinyon nut collection, seed collection, and hunting. There are some obsidian sites in the northern section of this WSA.

In addition, Mt. Biedeman borders Bodie State Park, a park that preserves the ghost town of Bodie. Bodie was a mining town in the late nineteenth century.

Recreational Values:

Hunting, backpacking, camping.