Location & Map
Surprise Valley lies in the northeastern
corner of California, adjacent to both Nevada and Oregon. The
valley is bounded on the west by the Warner Mountains, and when
the three shallow alkaline lakes, the Upper, Middle and Lower
Lakes contain water, they reflect Nevada's Hays Range to the
The valley stretches approximately 70 miles
from north to south and averages 10 miles wide. Its four towns,
from north to south, are Fort Bidwell, Lake City, Cedarville,
and Eagleville. The valley lies entirely within Modoc County
which took its name in 1874 from the most prominent Native
American tribe living in the area at the time.
You may reach the valley by traveling from US
Highway 395 via 299E over Cedar Pass, while Fandango Pass Road
connects US 395 with County Road 1 about 5 miles south of Fort
Bidwell. Visitors traveling from Reno might choose to enter the
valley's south end via Nevada Highway 447.
Surprise Valley and the Surrounding area, including the
Barrel Springs Byway. Provided by the
Field Office, Bureau of Land Management.