Buttermilk Country Wildlife Area


snow-dusted mountains and arid lowlands

Buttermilk Country Wildlife Area consists of 325 acres of high desert meadow, surrounded by Inyo National Forest, and dominated by Great Basin vegetation consisting of sagebrush, bitterbrush, rabbitbrush, saltbrush, buckwheat and pinyon-juniper woodland habitats. McGee Creek runs along its eastern boundary. The wildlife area provides important habitat for the migration of the Round Valley deer herd between their summer and winter ranges.

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

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing  Hiking Trails Bow Hunting Deer Hunting Quail Hunting

Activities: wildlife viewing, hiking, birdwatching, photography, fishing (brook trout), and hunting

Hunting: Deer, mountain quail, and blue grouse may be present. Method of take: shotguns, rifles, archery.

Type C: Buttermilk Country 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 Buttermilk Country fell squarely within the historic territory of the Paiute of Owens Valley. Subsistence resources exploited by this group ranged widely. The Paiute also practiced a form of agriculture in irrigating wild, yellow nut-grass tubers. Loose to formal economic and demographic relationships held between aboriginal groups.

The middle to late 1800s were a period of exploration and frontier settlement spawned by mining, railroad, ranching, and farming interests. This was succeeded by a period of growing physical and economic ties to distant population centers. The property was acquired to protect deer winter range and habitat, and was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1994.

Map of buttermilk county WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Inland Deserts Region (Region 6)

Inyo County

12 miles west of Bishop on east slope of Sierra Nevada on Buttermilk Road; west of Grouse Mountain

Access: From Bishop and Hwy 395 head westerly on Hwy 168 to Buttermilk Road and go west for about 6 miles. The road passes through the western portion of the wildlife area.

CDFW Lands Viewer