Excelsior South

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Map Information

ExcelsiorSo13_01_PetersonK.jpgWilderness Area Status

BLM-inventoried Land with Wilderness Character in the Carson City District Resource Management Plan.

Year Designated
Act or Law:  Acres: 51,058 State Region: West Central Nevada County: Mineral


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management Local District: Carson City Field Office Contact Info: (775) 885-6000 5665 Morgan Hill Rd. Carson City, NV 89701 Visit the website (will open a new window)

Area Description

The Excelsior South unit offers an outstanding diversity of natural landscapes, from the sagebrush plains and pinyon woodlands of the southern basalt tablelands characterized by native grasses and rabbit brush to the starkly beautiful, alkali expanses of Teels Marsh punctuated with scattered shadscale on the northern end of the area.  Pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes, wild burros, and jack rabbits can be found throughout the unit.  Redtail hawks and ravens are the most frequent inhabitants of the skies.  The southern portion of the unit offers spectacular mountain scenery, with magnificent views of Boundary Peak and Mount Montgomery. 

Elevations within the area range from 7550 ft along the crest of the hills in the southern portion to 4910 ft immediately adjacent to the Teels Marsh.  The northern part of the area yields a series of remarkable springs in an arid and desiccated landscape.  These springs produce oases of verdant vegetation, resources of critical importance for wild burros and wildlife that seasonally utilize this barren landscape to escape ferocious winter storms.

The vast scale of this remarkable area provides the first element for outstanding opportunities for solitude.  The wooden tablelands of the southern portion provide a landscape where a visitor can immediately vanish into wilderness and solitude with a minimal of effort.  The basalt canyon in this southern area offer other outstanding opportunities for hikers to drop over a rim and find empty and secluded canyons where evidence of other humans seems to be another world away.  The dry hills forming the backbone of the area provide visitors with an opportunity for an outstanding experience of solitude that includes limitless vistas and far horizons that they can share only with the hawks and ravens.  The dry and sparsely vegetated northern portion of the area provides outstanding opportunities for solitude for visitors willing to leave the comfort and security of shade and vegetation behind and face the challenge of hiking through immense open desert landscape in the bottom of this deep Nevada basin.

To see more photos and explore this Unit on Google Earth, visit Panoramio (will open a new window)


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