California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Smithneck Creek Wildlife Area - Sierra County

Deer Hunting Allowed Wildlife Viewing Fishing Quail Hunting Bear Hunting Allowed Hiking
The symbols above are activities permitted on this Wildlife Area. Click for more info.

Location: Sierra County - Approximately 1 mile southeast of Loyalton and 3 miles south of State Route 49 surrounding the Sierra Brooks subdivision.

Phone Number: (916) 358-2900

Map: Directional Map (PDF)  Topographic Map (PDF)

Area Regulations: Camping is not allowed.

Access: All 3 units of this Wildlife Area can be reached by taking Smithneck Road south from Highway 49 at Loyalton. The northern unit lies along Smithneck Road. The western unit can be reached by turning west onto Antelope Valley Road from Smithneck Road. To reach the eastern unit, turn east onto Badenaugh Canyon Road from Smithneck Road.

Description: This 1,395 acre wildlife area consists of a variety of habitats typical of the east side of the Sierra. The sagebrush-bitterbrush habitat is a critical deer winter-range area for migratory deer. Limited stands of yellow pine, mountain mahogany and juniper provide additional habitat for resident deer. Wet and dry meadows are found along Bear Valley Creek. Riparian habitat consisting of alders, willows and aspen provide cover along Bear Valley, Smithneck and Badenaugh Creeks for both game and non-game wildlife.

Recreational Use: Type C Wildlife Area - no permits, passes, or reservations are required.

  • Fishing is allowed in the three streams on the area but be aware of posted private lands.
  • Opportunities abound for hiking, birdwatching and photography. Some of the species which may be viewed include goshawks, falcons, a variety of warbler species, and snowshoe hares. Mountain lion tracks are often seen imprinted in muddy areas near streams.
  • The area provides access to extensive public lands such as the Tahoe National Forest

Hunting: Permitted for deer, bear, rabbit, quail, and dove during those seasons. Opportunities are limited by the safety considerations for residents of the Sierra Brooks Subdivision, which is bordered on three sides by the Wildlife Area.

Facilities: None

PLEASE NOTE: Area regulations are subject to change. Special restrictions on recreational uses, hunt days and methods of take are listed in the current year's issue of Hunting and Other Public Uses on State and Federal Areas, available at CDFW offices and places where licenses are sold.

Management Plan: Notice of Determination for the Final Antelope Valley and Smithneck Creek Wildlife Areas Land Management Plan (LMP) in Sierra County, California

Facilities: None

KC/WLB 08/09