Burcham & Wheeler Flats Wildlife Area


Burcham and Wheeler Flats Wildlife Area is approximately 1,160 acres of sagebrush scrub and meadow habitat and is managed for preventing further decline of greater sage grouse, providing critical mule deer habitat, and protecting sensitive plant and animal species. This would include activities such as meadow irrigation, stream bank stabilization, and aspen stand restoration.

Over 3,000 mule deer from the East and West Walker deer herds migrate through the area. In addition, the area functions as a portion of the spring and fall holding area for these herds, as well as summer range fawning habitat.

Other species likely to benefit from the protection of the property include the following State-listed threatened species: wolverine, Sierra Nevada red fox, bank swallow, and willow flycatcher and the following species of special concern: western white-tailed hare, American badger, black bear, mountain lion, Townsend’s big-eared bat, spotted bat, northern goshawk, bald eagle, blue grouse, and mountain quail.

For more information, call the Inland Deserts Region Bishop office at (760) 872-1171.

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing  Hiking Trails Deer Hunting Quail Hunting

Activities: nature viewing, hiking, and hunting

Hunting: Deer and quail may be present.

Type C: Burcham and Wheeler Flats 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.

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

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

Area History

The property was previously used for cattle grazing, and was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 2014. Designation assists the Department in controlling on-site management and better protects listed species and the habitat necessary to ensure their survival.

The greater sage grouse population has declined dramatically over the last 20 years due to habitat problems associated with overgrazing, fire suppression, and pinyon-juniper encroachment on sagebrush rangelands. The surrounding area including the wildlife area once supported six historical sage grouse strutting grounds, of which two are currently active. The WA still supports nesting and brood rearing habitat (mostly wet meadows) as well as winter habitat for this species.

Map of Burcham and Wheeler Flats WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Inland Deserts Region (Region 6)

Mono County

non-contiguous parcels approximately 12 to 18 miles northwest of Bridgeport, near Hwy 395 and 108 (Sonora Junction)

The parcels are surrounded by Toiyabe National Forest land, and in close proximity to the Department’s West Walker River, Pickel Meadow, and Slinkard-Little Antelope Wildlife Areas.

Access: Wheeler Flat: Hwy 395 east of Sonora Junction parking at the Wheeler Guard Station located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Proceed along Wheeler Creek Trail. Alternate pedestrian access is provided from Forest Route 248 (gated)

Burcham Flat: Hwy 395 east of Sonora Junctionto Burcham Flat Road (Forest Road 31)

CDFW Lands Viewer