Indian Joe Springs Ecological Reserve

mid canyon - rocky hillside with sparse shrubs


Most of the 520-acre Indian Joe Springs Ecological Reserve has sparse vegetative cover. The site contains a small amount of Desert Willow Riparian Scrub community, which supports a variety of wildlife, including an endangered bird species. The topography features moderate to steep sloping lands reaching approximately 3,800 feet in elevation. There are five springs on the property.

CDFW is in the process or reexamining the name Indian Joe Springs Ecological Reserve and have heard from local tribes that this is the preferred name. CDFW continues to seek tribal input to ensure Department property names are culturally appropriate to the original stewards of California since time immemorial. To discuss the property name contact Inland Deserts Region Tribal Liaison at

To discuss other CDFW property names contact Sarah Fonseca at

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

Recreational Opportunities

wildlife viewing fishing hiking quail hunting

Activities: wildlife viewing, fishing, hiking, upland game hunting

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.

no drones icon
You may not operate a drone on CDFW Lands without a Special Use Permit.

Area History

The area was used heavily by native people. The first Europeans to find Indian Joe Springs were a group of gold-seeking pioneers that sought refuge in the canyon in 1849 or 1850. One account claims that the local Indians were driven from the area to develop a homestead, gardens, and orchard.

The Department acquired the property in 1992, and it was designated as an ecological reserve by the Fish and Game Commission in 1994. The purpose for the acquisition was to protect the desert water sources and associated desert riparian habitat.

map of Indian Joe Springs ER - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Inland Deserts Region (Region 6)

Inyo County

Directions: Hwy 178. Reserve is 4 miles north of Trona, west of 178.

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