Gandolfo Canyon

Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character (LWC) in the Battle Mountain BLM District27843571855_bcb4dedc2a_z.jpg

Current LWC Status: 

Acres: 39268

State Region: West Central

County: Lander

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:                     

This unit is characterized by rhyolite volcanic structures creating colorful peaks and buttes, rolling hills, steep eroded canyons and erratic boulder outcrops.  An extensive pinion/juniper woodland and stands of mountain mahogany cover the upper elevations of this unit. Occasional open sage meadows interrupt these woodlands on the highest ridges. Sagebrush plant community and grassland are the characteristic vegetation in the middle elevations.  Elevations within this unit vary from 6100 feet near the playa of the Smith Creek Valley to 8000 feet atop the higher peaks in the central part of the range.  The highest elevations feature craggy rock outcrops and colorful talus deposits.  Impressive fault scraps define the western edge of the range, while a series of buttes lie scattered along the alluvium on the eastern edge of the unit.  
The convoluted and deeply etched terrain in the center of unit creates multiple opportunities to find isolated areas open only to the immensity of the sky and out of sight from the rest of the unit.  The extensive expanses of alluvial fans create outstanding opportunities for solitude by allowing visitors to vanish into the open and watch the surround world diminish by no other means than the sheer space of the region.   This is truly a remote and isolated place.

Birds and wildlife are present in this arid unit, providing opportunities for wildlife viewing and hunting.  Chukar and antelope frequent this area and during migration periods, mule deer can be found here.  Scrambling routes and peak bagging opportunities exist throughout the central highlands of this unit and the broad alluvial fans provide desert hiking opportunities.  For visitors willing to carry their own water and face the challenges of arid country hiking, this unit offer outstanding opportunities for overnight trips into an area where the visitors will truly find themselves alone.    The area is extremely photogenic, with multicolored volcanic hills, contorted pinion and juniper trees struggling to survive on wind-swept ridges, and maze-like canyons enclosed by rocky walls and rims. This area comes alive with color, textures, and shadows when the sunrises over of the distant Toiyabe Mountains or sets over the broad Smith Creek Playa.  

The area also has historical interest as the section of the Pony Express National Historical Trail pass through this unit.  Here visitor can hike or ride a horse along this historic trail and have the same experience of Nevada as the Pony Express riders had more than 150 years ago.
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