Antelope Valley Wildlife Area

view of hills meeting valley floor at Antelope Valley Wildlife Area
Antelope Valley Wildlife Area
California Wildlife Conservation Board photo


The approximately 5,600 acre Antelope Valley Wildlife Area includes the Antelope Valley and Merry-Go-Round units which are largely covered by sagebrush interspersed with rabbit brush and bitterbrush at the lower elevations. The upper slopes are populated by Jeffrey pine, juniper, mountain mahogany, and chaparral plants. It is considered prime deer winter range. Common game species include Rocky Mountain mule deer and mountain quail. Other common species include the golden mantled ground squirrel, Beechey ground squirrel, red-tailed hawk, Cooper's hawk, Stellar's jay, leopard frog and rattlesnake.

For more information, call the North Central Region Rancho Cordova office at (916) 358-2900.

Recreational Opportunities

Hiking Trails Wildlife Viewing Deer Hunting Black Bear Hunting Turkey Hunting Quail Hunting

Activities: hiking, wildlife viewing, and seasonal camping, hunting, and trapping

Hunting: Deer, bear, rabbit, tree squirrel, wild turkey, quail, grouse, and dove may be present.

Type C: Antelope Valley Wildlife Area does not require the purchase of a hunting pass for entry. Entry permits and/or passes or special drawing may be required for hunting on some Type C wildlife areas.

Facilities: None

NOTE: Visitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all regulations pertaining to the use of Department lands.

Refer to the Public Uses on State and Federal Lands section of the Waterfowl, Upland Game, and Public Use Regulations (PDF) booklet for both statewide and property-specific regulations.

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You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

The Antelope Valley Wildlife Area (AVWA) is located in Sierra County, southwest of Loyalton and consists of approximately 5,700 acres of Great Basin montane habitat on the southern edge of the Sierra Valley. AVWA includes the main Antelope Valley Unit, which is located in the Antelope Valley Creek Watershed, and the Merry-Go-Round Unit. Antelope Valley has historically been used for livestock grazing (private cattle/sheep operation as well as public allotments) and small-scale logging with the earliest documented use in 1922. The land was purchased by the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) on behalf of the department in 1980 with the intent to preserve winter range and migration habitat, critical to the Loyalton-Truckee deer herd. At the time of the purchase, the land was under consideration for development. The land surrounding AVWA is predominately owned by the Tahoe National Forest, managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) with the exception of private land parcels located along the northern border.

It was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1980.

Map of Antelope Valley WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


North Central Region (Region 2)

Sierra County

between Sierraville and Loyalton

Access: For the Merry-Go-Round Unit, access is directly off Highway 49, west of Antelope Valley Road and the town of Loyalton; the Antelope Valley Unit can be reached by taking County Road 855 (Antelope Valley Road) south from Highway 49 just west of Loyalton.

Topographic Maps: Antelope Valley WA (PDF) | Antelope Valley Unit (PDF) | Merry Go Round Unit (PDF)

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