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Far South Egans Wilderness

Wilderness Area Status

Designated Wilderness Area
Year Designated: 2004

Act or Law: Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act of 2004
Acres: 36384
State Region: Eastern Nevada
County Regions: Lincoln  Nye 


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Ely Field Office
Contact Info: (775) 289-1800
702 North Industrial Way HC 33 Box 33500 Ely, NV89301
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Area Description

The wild, rugged Far South Egans Wilderness is an impressive area with sheer rock cliffs rising up from deeply-cut canyons, thick forests of pinyon-juniper and occasional ponderosa pine mixed with ancient bristlecone pine, hidden caves and shelters, and gently sloping alluvial fans presenting extensive vistas into the adjoining valleys and neighboring mountain ranges. The area has been largely untouched by human developments other than a rehabilitated logging operation in Sawmill Canyon which is considered a special feature of historical value and also an excellent example of how the landscape can restore itself over time. This variety of terrain provides excellent wildlife habitat for mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, cougar and raptors such as golden eagles and ferruginous hawks. The geological and topographical features of the area also provide endless opportunities for visitors to find solitude and opportunities for outstanding primitive recreation. The area is excellent for hiking, camping, backpacking, hunting, climbing, nature study and photography.

One of the interesting features of the area is Whipple Cave, located on the west side of the wilderness. The cave is an excellent example of limestone solutioning with approximately 1,000 feet of known passages. Entering the cave requires a technical 70-foot descent, but explorers are rewarded with incredible cave decorations including rimstone dams, draperies, and a huge column over 30 feet tall. Another unique feature of the area is its stands of ponderosa and bristlecone pines. This is an interesting combination given the low elevation at which the ancient bristlecone pines occur (as low as 7,000 feet) and also because the ponderosa pines are relict population from earlier climatological conditions. Prior to the logging operation in Sawmill Canyon, theremay have been more stands of ponderosa pine in this area.

This wilderness is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands.


Whipple Cave in the Far South Egan Wilderness boasts amazing cave formations.  (c) Alvin McLane

The west-facing limestone escarpment of the Far South Egan Wilderness.  (c) Brian Beffort

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