Cirac Valley

Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character (LWC) in the Battle Mountain BLM District30544969070_aa87dbf2f5_z.jpg

Current LWC Status: Proposed

Acres: 23,940

State Region: West Central

County:Esmeralda

Managing Agency

Bureau of Land Management

Battle Mountain District Office

50 Bastian Rd. Battle Mountain, NV 89820

(775) 635-4000

Battle Mountain District BLM Website

Area Description:

The unit is 30 miles northwest of Tonopah and is just east of the Cedar Mountains and west of the Royston Hills. This area is predominantly natural and controlled by wild forces.  The core of this unit is comprised the extensive alluvial Cirac Valley.  Blackbrush, saltbrush, cholla and desert pavements characterize vegetation and surface of this unit.  Along the eastern edge of the unit, the soil becomes sandy and a shallow silt area exhibits greasewood along the eastern margin.  The northern end of the Cedar Mountains forms a convoluted landscape of broad washes and rugged ridges.  Along the west side of the unit, rhyolite exposures create intriguing landscapes of colorful rocks, small summits, and a slick rock canyon system.   Volcanism forms the predominated feature of the west side of the unit including several, low-lying basaltic hills.   Elevations range from 3550 feet at the southern end of the unit to a series of summits over 6300 feet in the northwestern portion of the unit.  Outlaw Springs, immediately to the west of the unit provide dependable water for the wildlife that wanders through this arid unit.  Pronghorn, wild horses and burros frequent this area, bighorn sheep beds can be found on the shoulders of the Cedar Mountains and the occasional migrating mule deer is known to pass through the unit. Ephedra, ricegrass, rabbit brush and the occasional cliffrose bush can be found within the unit.  Upland game birds and raptors are plentiful as are rabbits, reptiles, rodents, and other prey species

The vast, open landscape of this unit is misleading to the external observer.  This alluvial space quickly swallows-up a visitor on foot and within 15 minutes of walking into this alluvial wilderness, he/she would be completely alone and isolated in the magnitude of the space.  The rolling terrain on the western edge of the unit is comprised of numerous convoluted canyons and ridges offering nearly unlimited opportunities to find secluded spots. 

This area is not easy to explore, however, nearly every inch of this unit is accessible to the visitor with the determination and skills to traverse trackless wilderness. Birds and wildlife are present as well, providing opportunities for viewing and excellent hunting for skilled backcountry hunters.  Bighorn sheepand chukar are some of the animals available for game.  The area offers outstanding desert hiking and exploration opportunities, including excellent rock scrambling and exploration opportunities in the “slickrock” rhyolite formations along the western side of the unit.  Several deep washes offer seclude pathways that lead far out into the alluvial plains before they braid and dissolve into the profound openness of the core of the unit.  The colorful formations throughout the unit combined with the cactus plains of the lower elevations create outstanding opportunities for photography, painting and sketching.   The expansiveness of the unit provides endless vistas of distant mountains and valleys.  This area presents spectacular outstanding vistas at every turn. The area offers outstanding opportunities for arid-lands nature study.  The area is rich in historic and prehistoric archaeological resources for visitors to explore and investigate.  Hiking, orienteering, backpacking, rock hounding, bird watching, primitive camping, horseback riding, burro and llama packing, hunting, and general sightseeing complete the possibilities for outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation within this unit.   

This unit is within one of the darkest regions of the United States.  The opportunity for star gazing, and night sky photography are truly outstanding.

The wildness, remoteness, and natural integrity of this unit provide unparalleled opportunities for studies in natural history, mining history, geology, and ecology. The historic interest in mining of the area provides excellent mineral specimens for rock hounding. This area is also rich in historic and prehistoric archaeological resources.

 

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