Arc Dome Wilderness
Wilderness Area Status
Designated Wilderness Area
Year Designated: 1989
Act or Law: Nevada Wilderness Protection Act of 1989
State Region: West Central Nevada
County Regions: Nye
Local District: Austin-Tonopah Ranger District
Contact Info: (775) 964-2671
PO Box 130 Austin,
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Arc Dome Wilderness, in the heart of the Toiyabe Mountain Range, is one of Nevada's largest wilderness areas. Its 115,000 acres stretch from Ophir summit on the north to Peavine Canyon on the south. The area contains the highest peaks in the range, several trout streams, spectacular scenery and a diverse mix of landforms and ecosystems.
Approached by the usual route, Arc Dome seems not very arc-shaped and not very domelike. The people who named it must have been looking at it from the southwest. From that vantage, in winter, white with snow from base to summit, it looks Himalayan.
Because the volcanic rock of Arc Dome and neighboring peaks weathers reddish brown, this section is sometimes called "the Red Toiyabes."
The two flanks of the southern Toiyabe Range are oddly unlike. The west side is gentle, green and open; the east side is rugged, complicated and enclosed. Three streams, optimistically called rivers, gather water from multiple sources and work their way down, with the Reese River going to the west, and the North Twin and South Twin rivers emerging from the very steep east side just a half mile apart.
The Arc Dome area is rich in wildlife; supporting a healthy deer herd, Sage Grouse, Chukar and the usual native predators. Many neotropical migrant birds along with residents such as Kestrels and Red-shafted flickers nest in the aspen groves along the canyon bottoms.
The Arc Dome Wilderness makes up the southern third of the Toiyabe Range and, at its closest point, is only 45 miles north of Tonopah. The area is accessible by improved dirt roads from all sides and is within three miles of state highway 376 on the eastside.
Wildlife: Columbian Spotted Frog, Mule Deer, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Golden Eagle, Clark's Nutcracker, Sage Sparrow, Sagebrush Vole, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Northern Goshawk, Big Brown Bat, Great Basin Skink
Hiking through aspen stands in the Arc Dome Wilderness. (c) Brian Beffort
Friends (c) Kurt Kuznicki