Tobin Crest

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Map Information

Wilderness Area StatusChinaMtnWest13_TobinCrest_MtTobin01_PetersonK.jpg

Lands with Wilderness Characteristics

Year Designated:

Act or Law:

Acres: 19691

State Region: Northwest Nevada

County Regions: Pershing   


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management

Local District: Winnemucca Field Office

Contact Info: (775) 623-1500 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard  Winnemucca, NV 89445 Visit the website (will open a new window)

Area Description

The Tobin Crest LWC connects the landscape and wildlife habitats between the Tobin Range and China Mountain Wilderness Study Areas. This area provides the critical connectivity required for to assure habitat and genetic diversity for the wildlife of this region. This area is also recognized as prime Greater Sage Grouse habitat.  wildlife    rises from near the valley floor to the crest of the Tobin Range. Elevations range from 4,640 to 9,775 feet. This area measures 12 miles long and averages 2 miles wide. In the higher elevations adjacent to Mt. Tobin, the smooth, dominant ridges are separated by shallow drainages.

The Tobin Crest is essentially one long ridge or crest, running north-south, and gradually gaining elevation towards the south. 
Heavily altered sedimentary rock, outcropping as shale and slate, forms the bulk of these large mountains. This rock, while resilient enough to rise to 9775 ft. (the top of Mt. Tobin), is also relatively soft. As such, the mountains reflect this characteristic and are somewhat rounded despite their enormous size. Sagebrush, growing extensively throughout the region, helps to also smooth the landscape with a grey green tinge.  In addition to sage, numerous wildflowers and other high alpine vegetation carpets the higher elevations. Lupine and small sunflowers are especially common, and beautiful Indian paintbrush can be found extensively at slightly lower altitudes. 

Although generally lacking in large vegetation, junipers are sparsely scattered throughout the lands in small groves. In addition, exceptionally large sagebrush occasionally is common here, taking on a tree-like character and forming “groves” of its own.  Where not rounded and hilly, these mountains are cut by deep canyons, especially on the Eastern side.  Here the rock is tougher and rises dramatically into sharp outcrops.  Flowing water travels through many of these canyons, and creates a lush desert ecosystem unique from the surrounding lands.  Thick brush chokes these drainages, adding a splash of green to the stark desert.  Willows, wild rose, and grasses are abundant here, and many animals flock to the greenery for food and homes.  Numerous birds, small rodents and reptiles, and other animals are common to these areas.  In addition, the LWC is home to many large mammals including bighorn sheep, antelope, coyote, and mule deer. Signs of these animals exist throughout the region, and sightings at the time of visit further helped to verify some of the local population. This area is alive with natural forces and wildlife.

Mt. Tobin is the 62nd most prominent peak in the lower 48 states and the 12th most prominent peak in Nevada. Mt. Tobin was supposedly named in honor of Clement L. Tobin of Winnemucca.

Hiking and camping, hunting and horse-packing, rock scrambling are good here. Great views of the surrounding desert await hikers who make it to the upper reaches of the LWC. Cross-country skiing is popular here in the winter.

The name Tobin was likely derived from the Old Testament  Book of Tobit or Tobias, which in turn derived from the Hebrew "Tobiah" - loosely translated is God is Good, or the Goodness of God, and by extension Good Place with Good People.

Take Action: The proposed Tobin Crest Wilderness is part of  seven proposed wilderness areas outlined in the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act. Sign the petition to gain permanent protection for the Tobin Crest!

Learn more about the campaign and proposed bill here.


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