Discover 300,000 Acres of landscape Diversity And a True Golden Trout Haven
Split between the Sequoia and Inyo National Forests, the Golden Trout Wilderness covers over 300,000 acres. First protected in 1978, it is a land of diversity – from rolling forests and meadows up to high rugged granite summits.
The Golden Trout has supported native populations of golden trout (California’s state fish) for thousands of years in the drainages of the Upper Kern River. This wilderness contains all of the Little Kern River’s drainage as well as the North and South Fork of the Kern River plus 117 miles of streams; the Golden Trout Wilderness is a true trout haven.
However, golden trout populations have dwindled throughout the state and in the area due to predation and interbreeding from the non-native European brown trout. Pure populations of golden trout inhabit fewer than 10 miles of streams in the area. The local Little Kern golden trout and the Volcano Creek golden trout are classified as threatened while the endemic South Fork Kern golden trout, rainbow trout, from which golden trout evolved, and western sucker and squawfish are more abundant.