Current Protection

Designated Wilderness

Management Agency

U.S. Forest Service

Year Protected


Total Area

35,860 Acres

Alta Toquima Wilderness is a protected wilderness area in the Toquima Range of Nye County, in the central section of the state of Nevada in the western United States. Designated in 1989 under the Nevada Wilderness Protection Act of 1989, it covers an area of 35,860 acres and is administered by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Wildlife is plentiful in the Wilderness, including bighorn sheep, deer, grouse, chukar and native trout. The Toquima Mountains are traditionally within the homeland of the Newe (Western Shoshone). The name of the mountain range has been questionably attributed to a group of Eastern Mono/Monache who lived in the upper Reese River Valley. There is, however, no ethnographic evidence that the Monache ever ranged as far east as Central Nevada. It is more likely that the name is of Newe origin. Native people have been living on and with these lands for countless generations

The massive summit of Mount Jefferson is the crown of the Toquima Range. This isolated summit reaches almost 12,000 feet. The area’s uniqueness has attracted great scientific interest. More than a century ago, John Muir tramped its high plateau and forested glacial cirques and confirmed the role of glaciers in shaping Great Basin mountains. The Mount Jefferson Research Natural Area protects 4,953 acres around Mount Jefferson, the highest peak in the Toquima Range and Nye County. The Mount Jefferson Research Natural Area is one of the most unusual environments in the United States, due to its extreme alpine conditions. Recently it was designated by the Forest Service as a Research Natural Area for the study of alpine plants.


Mt. Jefferson actually has three summits: south, middle and north. The connecting ridgeline traverses almost eight miles, all above 11,000 feet. Access to the top is relatively easy from the Pine Creek campground. Backpacking loads can be relatively light, as there is abundant water and several eastside streams support trout. A small alpine lake rests in a glacial cirque at 11,000 feet.

Agency Information

Managing Agency: U.S. Forest Service

Local District: Austin-Tonopah Ranger District

Address:100 Midas Canyon Rd. Austin, NV 89310

Phone:(775) 964-2671