Located southeast of Bridgeport, California in beautiful Mono County lies the Bodie Hills Wilderness Study Area (WSA). Recently featured in a Sunset magazine online piece called “Amazing West: 24 must-sees”, the Bodie WSA is undergoing a conservation action plan to guide future management projects to preserve and enhance the ecological integrity of this amazing area.
In terms of plant and animal species, the area is among the most biodiverse in the Great Basin ecoregion. 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 Sierra fauna, including threatened populations of bi-state sage grouse. Pronghorn antelope, mule deer, mountain lion and various raptor populations call Bodie their home. Sagebrush flats, juniper hills and wetland meadows provide food and comfort to this largely-undisturbed wildland.
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. To the south, the Bodie WSA borders the Bodie State Historic Park, a preserve of the mining ghost town of Bodie. The Bodie State Historic Park welcomes tourists who come to relive the rich mining history of what was the second largest city in California back in the 1880’s.
The Bodie WSA provides many recreational opportunities. Hike through the narrow canyons of Rough and Atastra Creeks, or hike up to the Dry Lakes plateau to gaze upon Beauty Peaks. Escape the crowds of ski resorts, and cross-country ski through the Bodie's hilly terrain. Other activities include: horseback riding, photography, camping, historical sightseeing, backpacking, geologic sightseeing, ORV use on designated roads, and deer hunting.
Threats of renewed gold mining activity within the Wilderness Study Area have caused deep concern for Bodie’s complex and sensitive ecosystem. Friends of the Inyo is working in conjunction with local organizations and agencies to preserve the natural, cultural and recreational values of this unique area.