Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character (LWC) in the Battle Mountain BLM District
Current LWC Status: Proposed
State Region: West Central
Bureau of Land Management
Battle Mountain District Office
50 Bastian Rd. Battle Mountain, NV 89820
Battle Mountain District BLM Website
The area is dominated by the forces of nature. The core of the area is a long volcanic ridge comprised of the north end of The Wall formation, the higher, rhyolitic Black Rock summit, and remnants of Paleozoic limestones. Elevations in the unit vary from 4700 feet on the margins of the Railroad Valley to the 7200-foot summit of the Black Rock prominence. Several recent basalt formations can be found within the unit. The broad, alluvial fan comprising the eastern portion of the unit is dominated by braided alluvial channels and old shorelines of the pluvial lake that once filled the Railroad Valley. Cold-desert sagebrush vegetation can be found throughout the unit.
The extremely ruggedterrain of the northern part of the unit around the Black Rock prominence creates a labyrinth of twisting and turning canyons and drainages. This area offers visitors multiple possibilities to find outstanding opportunities for solitude and immersion into the wildness of this unit. The southern portion of the unit offers several outstanding opportunities for solitude in long narrow canyons, which are parallel to the Pancake Range and effectively screened from the outside world by low, linear volcanic features. The southern-most end of the unit features two mesa-topped segments of The Wall formation providing outstanding opportunities for seclusion and solitude available to visitors willing to face the challenge of scrambling to the top. The endless vistas and effective isolation found atop these formations is truly an outstanding opportunity for solitude. An extensive alluvial system dissected by braided channels creates an outstanding opportunity for solitude throughout the eastern portion of this area.
Nearly every inch of this unit is accessible to the visitor with the determination and skills to traverse trackless wilderness. The unit is rich with geologic wonders from a recent basalt volcanic cone to Tertiary badlands characterized by rhyolite ridges, mesas, rims, spires, and peaks and volcanic ash formations to hidden Paleozoic limestone pockets. These formations provide outstanding opportunities for geologic sightseeing and rock hounding. The extensive alluvial fan system on the east side of the unit is covered with multicolored water and sand polished stones that would please any rock collector. The volcanic nature of this area provides photographers and artists with outstanding opportunities for inspiration and subjects in the constantly shifting shadows, shapes, and compositions created by the numerous, colorful rock formations. Winter hiking and snowshoeing provide the unit with a white mantle that presents an entirely different landscape from the hotter, dryer summer months.
Most of the unit is accessible for equestrian use. Burro packing provides a visitor with remarkable opportunities to explore a truly wild area and to make a living-history connection with the challenges faced by early Nevada explorers and prospectors. Rock scrambling and bouldering opportunities exist within this unit. Visitors with navigation and route-finding skills can find outstanding opportunities for climbing to the summits of the unit’s rugged volcanic spine.
This area is adjacent to the Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark and shares the violent, volcanic history of the Landmark. The darkness of the night skies in this unit is an outstanding supplemental value.