Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Tecopa Ecological Reserve encompasses 84 acres of land throughout and surrounding the small Mojave Desert town of Tecopa in eastern Inyo County.

Managed by the State of California, the land was purchased in order to limit development and use, and aid in the protection of endangered species such as the Amargosa vole, and localized endangered plant species like the Amargosa interwort. Composed of a highly mineralized alkali landscape which includes numerous springs and water tributaries, the reserve is checkerboarded throughout portions of the town. 

There are no clear markings or signage, and no roads pass through the reserve. Visitors are welcome to walk through the reserve, where birds can be viewed passing through the wetlands areas and hunting is conditionally permitted.

While there are no roads through the reserve, scars of past drivers tracking across the landscape can be easily observed - a sign of the isolated lawlessness of the community butting up against efforts to protect and preserve the area's fragile ecosystems.

Some sections of the reserve are small, and run right between homes, though this is the effort being made by the state to restrict any future development in the most sensitive areas.

In all, the Tecopa Ecological Reserve is easy to find, yet harder to access, as most sections really don't contain many features of interest. However, as far as taking areas of the town that were previously open for all kinds of activity and preserving them in the interest of helping the ecology recover and survive, its lack of features may be the exact purpose.

Visitors should be aware that there is no cell service in the town of Tecopa, and no drinking water available as all groundwater is highly mineralized.

Further information on the reserve as well as maps can be found at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Impressive effort to preserve land for endangered and wild species.


Not very scenic. Not clearly marked.


Sand Dunes
Family friendly
Near lake or river
Bird watching




Nearby Lodging + Camping


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