Services, Getting There

Hikes & Trails

Related Areas

Map Information

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Instant Study Area

Wilderness Area Status

Wilderness Study Area
Year Designated:

Act or Law:
Acres: 12316
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 Boulevard  Winnemucca, NV89445
Visit the website (will open a new window)

Area Description

The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Natural Area Instant Study Area was established in 1973 to ensure the preservation of this threatened species of fish, in its natural habitat and to maximize spawning areas. Interestingly, this is the purest strain of Lahontan Cutthroat that remains (wildlife officials used fish from this population to restock the struggling population at Pyramid Lake and in the Truckee River).

Situated on the northern slopes of the Black Rock Range, the open sage and grass slopes of this area are cut with aspen-filled drainages, with perennial streams, willow and mahogany trees, lush meadows, colorful rock formations and a strong wildlife presence. It is one of Nevada's great scenic jewels.

Enjoy hiking and riding, hunting, photography and cross-country skiing. Although the creeks contain trout, it is not legal to fish for them. The clear, shallow streams make the fish easy to see. So look but don't touch. Still, the cool flowing water is a lovely thing in which to dangle one's toes.

The aspen provide cool and shady exploring, and the open slopes above provide sweeping views over the High Rock Canyon country to the west, toward the Sheldon Antelope Refuge to the north, and to the Pine Forest Range to the northeast.

To protect the water quality, over 2,000 acres (20 percent of the study area) were fenced to exclude livestock from the stream headwaters. The original sage and bunch-grass plant community has made a comeback, providing wildlife habitat. This is one of the rare places in Nevada where people can see a thriving native plant community unaffected by the presence of cattle.

This Wilderness Study Area is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands.


The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout WSA is home to endangered native trout and glorious stands of aspen.  (c) Kurt Kuznicki

High mountain aspen solitude.  (c) Brian Beffort

  Show More Photos