Heart Hills

Services, Getting There

Hikes & Trails

Related Areas

Map Information


Wilderness Area Status

Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character in the Battle Mountain BLM District

Year Designated

Act or Law: 

Acres: 30,545

State Region: West Central Nevada

County: Nye


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Local Districts: Battle Mountain District Office

Contact Info: (775) 635-4000 50 Bastian Rd. Battle Mountain, NV 89820 Visit the website (will open a new window)



Area Description

The Heart Hills area is comprised of four very unique natural systems.  The south side includes extensive alluvial fan systems that provide outstanding habitat for the pronghorn antelope that frequent the region. The upper reaches of the alluvial fan system on the west side of the area includes rolling and convoluted, ash-fall hillocks that create many micro environments determined by how precipitation on the area is concentrated and directed by the bare rock formations.  Rhyolite formations and buttes abound through out the Heart Hills area and create varied topography from the soft, rounded structures of the Heart Hills in the southern part of the area to the cliff-lined summits of the Slanted Buttes and the Moore Station Buttes.  Native grass habitat thrives on the lower rolling hills and the craggy cliff faces provide outstanding nesting habitat for raptors. The highest elevations of the Heart Hills area encompass the Needles and elevations up to 7400 feet.  These volcanic Needles rise dramatically above sheltered canyons showing signs of prehistoric human use.  To the east of the Needles, Basalt Butte forms a unique, black-capped mesa rimmed with a wall of sheer basalt boulders.  Occasionally these boulders break free of the rim and tumble far down the butte to roll out on to the alluvial fan on the east side of the area.  Dense pinion-juniper forests characterize the northern part of the Heart Hills area. Current human use is limited to recreational use. Evidence of this use is negligible on the landscape.  Overall, the Heart Hills area retains its natural integrity and presents the appearance of a landscape dominated by the forces of nature.


The Heart Hills area provides a wide diversity of outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation, from the casual visitor who only wants to stroll through gently rolling, natural terrain, to determined hikers and climbers intent on making it to the top of
the highest points in the region.  Photography, painting, and sketching opportunities abound throughout the area.  A shifting pallet of light, shadows, and colors playing across the enigmatic, rhyolitic volcanic rocks and structures inspire many possibilities for artistic expression.  Petroglyphs, pictographs, and stone housing circles provide outstanding opportunities for amateur archaeologists to
contemplate how indigenous peoples lived in the Heart Hills area.  Camping, backpacking, and hunting provide visitors outstanding opportunities to interact with the region.  Essentially all of the Heart Hills is accessible for primitive and unconfined recreation, limited only by the skills and determination of the visitor. 

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


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