Pickel Meadow Wildlife Area

image of Pickel Meadow WA


Pickel Meadow Wildlife Area is 991 acres of Jefferey pine, sagebrush, bitterbrush riparian, and wet meadow habitat at elevations from 6,800' to 7,000'. It is surrounded by Toiyabe National Forest and contains portions of West Walker and Little Walker Rivers, Silver and Poore Creeks, and Millie and Mud Lakes.

The wildlife area is an important mule deer migration route and is heavily used during spring, summer, and fall. The same seasons are utilized by waterfowl and shorebirds. Bald eagles can be found in the vicinity. Rainbow, brown, and brook trout, and mountain whitefish can be found in the rivers and lakes.

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

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Viewing Fishing Bow Hunting Deer Hunting Waterfowl Hunting Quail Hunting

Activities: wildlife viewing, birdwatching, photography, hiking, fishing, and hunting

Open 7 days a week

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

Type C: Pickel Meadow 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

Pickel Meadows was named after Frank Pickel, a pioneer stockman and prospector who moved to the area in 1863. A portion of road was built by Tuolumne County Water Company in 1852 and a toll gate, fine hotel, and stables were located near this spot in the 1850s. The road was completed in 1864, when a six-horse team took three weeks for the round trip between Sonora and Bridgeport.

The West Walker River Toll Road was built in 1878 by John Wheeler and Oscar Ash and ran between Hardy Station, near Sonora Junction, and Coleville. Ed Whittmore operated a stage over this route.

Pickel Meadows was historically an area of extensive natural meadows. The Department acquired the property in 1989 to preserve interior wetlands and riparian and aquatic habitats. It was designated as a wildlife area by the Fish and Game Commission in 1994.

Pickel Meadow WA - click to enlarge in new window
Click to enlarge


Inland Deserts Region (Region 6)

Mono County

about 15 miles northwest of Bridgeport

Access: The wildlife area consists of several disjunct parcels. One parcel is along the Little Walker River along Hwy 395, north of Sonora Junction. The other parcels are along West Walker River on the south side of Hwy 108, across from the U.S. Marine mountain training base. Millie Lake and Poore Creek areas require a ½ to 1 mile hike across national forest lands.

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