The Dome Land Wilderness covers 94,695 acres of the southeast part of the Kern Plateau. It is filled with a series of rugged domelike rock formations, including Church Dome, one of its outstanding scenic points. Because of its lower elevations, visitors especially enjoy this wilderness during the spring and fall seasons. Dome Land is the southern most wilderness in the Sierra Nevada. It is located at the southern end of the Kern Plateau about 70 miles northeast of Bakersfield. Domes that range from the size of a cottage to football fields across and spear-like jagged spires can be found in the Domeland. This range is one of the driest in the Sierra with the semi-arid mountains of the north and east crumbling into desert.
- 130081 acres
- Highest point – 9,224 feet
- Managed by the Sequoia National Forest and the BLM
- Kern and Tulare counties
How to Get Here:
Access is via Nine Mile Canyon Road (J41) from US Highway 395 or Chimney Peak Road via State Highway 178. West side trailheads are at Big Meadow and Taylor Meadow. Two trails from Big Meadow can be reached from Kernville via Tulare County Road M99, Sherman Pass, and Cherry Hill Roads. Leading to Manter Meadow, the upper Big Meadow Trail is a rugged hike while the lower Big Meadow Trail follows more gentle terrain. The trail from Taylor Meadow (southeast of Big Meadow) also leads to Manter Meadow. North side access is available from the Blackrock/ Sherman Pass Road via the Dark Canyon and Woodpecker trails.
What to Do:
Hiking, backpacking, camping.
Permits are not required for day use or overnight trips. Overnight camping is permitted though limited to 14 days. After 14 days, campers must relocate at least 25 miles from their previous site.
Be water savvy. This is one of the driest areas amongst the sierras. Plan your water use ahead.