Tunnel Spring Wilderness
Wilderness Area Status
Designated Wilderness Area
Year Designated: 2004
Act or Law: Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act of 2004
State Region: Eastern Nevada
County Regions: Lincoln
Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Ely Field Office
Contact Info: (775) 289-1800
702 North Industrial Way HC 33 Box 33500 Ely,
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Tunnel Springs Wilderness is a land of steep, mountainous canyons, long ridges and rough drainages. Various kinds of volcanic rocks predominate. Located at the head of Beaver Dam Wash, its elevations range from 5,000 to 6,700 feet. Vegetation is mostly pinyon-juniper and sagebrush. The climate is semiarid, with cold winters and hot summers.
Seven miles of perennial streams and several springs are in the Wilderness Area. Five to seven miles of streams support trout fisheries, which is unusual for BLM lands in this desert region. Rainbow trout live in the perennial waters of Beaver Dam Wash.
Accessible from the Dixie National Forest Pine Park Campground, the area is too rugged for horseback riding, but is good for hiking. Solitude is best among the tributaries and main canyons of the Pine Park-Split Pine Hollow, the tributaries and outcrops in the south rim of Pine Park Canyon, and the lower portion of Sheep Corral Canyon.
This wilderness area virtually surrounds the northern part of Beaver Dam State Park. It is also near the flight path for miliary aircraft from Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas. Subsonic flights occur as low as 100 feet above ground level several times a week.
Cougars and a variety of raptors frequent the area. The birds include: ferruginous hawk, Swainson's hawk, southern spotted owl, long-billed curlew, mountain plover, western snowy plover, western yellow-billed cuckoo, white-faced biis, Arizona Bell's vireo. Rodents: Merriam's kangaroo rat. Fish: Virgin River spinedance, speckled dace and desert sucker may inhabit Beaver Dam Creek.
This wilderness is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands.