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Carter Reservoir Wild Horse Herd

Outdoor Adventures, Wildlife Viewing Area
Carter Reservoir Mustangs Inc, Darice Massey

The unique Spanish type horses known as the Carter Reservoir Wild Horse Herd are located in a very isolated area of northeastern California and northwestern Nevada. They are considered a California wild horse herd as they are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at the Cedarville, CA Surprise Field Station.

The Carter Reservoir wild horses exhibit physical color characteristics known as the "dun factor," which was also common to a major portion of the horses which the Spaniards reintroduced into North America in the 1600s. Color classification of the dun factor is dun, red dun, grulla (mouse gray), buckskin, claybank and variations of these colors. Markings on horses having the dun include dorsal stripes, herringbone strips, zebra stripes on knees and hocks, chest, rib, and armbands, outlined ears, top 1/3 of the ear on its backside darker than body color, fawn color inside of ears, multicolored mane and tail, cob webbing on face and face masks. An individual having the dun factor may have many, but not all of these markings.

The Carter Reservoir mustangs are not easy to spot as their coloring can cause them to blend into the landscape. The herd roams in a remote desolate area in the high desert, where sagebrush, juniper trees, lava rock rim rocks, hills, valleys, and canyons are plentiful. Great caution should be taken when traveling into this remote region located near Cedarville, California. Coyotes, antelope, deer, bobcats, and birds are most commonly seen along with the wild horses.

Viewing the Carter Reservoir Wild Horses

It is best to visit the Bureau of Land Management website at to attain recreation information of the area and to inquire about any restrictions for this remote area. Weather, water availability, and the season plays a big part in where the family bands will be at different times of the year.

Best Months and Seasons for Viewing

Spring and Fall

Best Time for Viewing

Day time

Pet Friendly Notes

Not suitable for pets, except horses are highly recommended to observe these wild horses in their element.

Nearby Places