Services, Getting There

Hikes & Trails

Related Areas

Map Information

Black Rock Desert Wilderness

Wilderness Area Status

Designated Wilderness Area
Year Designated: 2000

Act or Law: Black Rock Desert - High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area Act of 2000
Acres: 314829
State Region: Northwest Nevada
County Regions: Humboldt   


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Winnemucca Field Office
Contact Info: (775) 623-1500
5100 East Winnemucca Blvd  Winnemucca, NV89445
Visit the website (will open a new window)

Area Description

The Black Rock Desert is one of the largest, virtually undeveloped desert valley floors in the United States. By far the largest designated wilderness in Nevada, the Black Rock Desert runs about 40 miles long north to south and about 20 miles wide, east to west. Its designation added an ecosystem to the National Wilderness Preservation System that was largely missing, a desert playa with saltbush-greasewood components.

Quinn River
Within this remarkable area wanders about 90 miles of the ephemeral Quinn River which can be rafted/kayaked during high water years. Beaver and muskrat can even be found along the banks of this river. Once a part of the prehistoric Lake Lahontan, this is an area where you can find solitude at an unimaginable scale - where past and present merge. In prehistoric times, wooly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers roamed this land.

This wilderness is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands.

Wildlife: American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Notostraca Shield Shrimp, Black-bellied Plover, Semi-palmated Plover, Snowy Plover, Fairy Shrimp, Cinammon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Desert Horned Lizard, Dark Kangaroo Mouse, Ord

The South Jackson Mountains rise behind Nevada  (c) Scott Smith

Young hiker in a picture-perfect setting of the Black Rock Range.  (c) Brian Beffort

  Show More Photos