Bureau of Land Management
The Bluewing Mountains, are a classic desert wilderness. Colorful volcanic formations, open rocky ground, and low vegetation create an area of endless vistas and unlimited options for exploration. Bounded by the Juniper Pass road on the south, the arid environment of the Bluewing Mountains are virtually treeless with only a handful of isolated junipers pioneering this empty landscape. The range is flanked on the east by Granite Springs Valley and on the west by Kumiva Valley. A beautiful small playa sits immediately west of the area and provides a stark contrast with the dark volcanic rocks of Black Mountain, which is the area’s high point at an elevation 6,617 feet. Dark Miocence volcanic formations overlaying lower-elevation multicolored, Triassic-Jurassic folded and faulted shales dominate the geological and visual terrain of the Bluewing Mountains. This is an area of deeply eroded formations creating a convoluted landscape of endlessly rolling hills and convoluted drainage channels.
Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Winnemucca Field Office
Address: 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard Winnemucca ,NV 89445
Phone: (775) 623-1500
The Bluewing Mountains are part of the traditional homelands and lifeways of the Nuumu (Northern Paiute) people.
In the late 1970’s the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) selected 43,711 acres of the Bluewing Mountains (NV-020-222) to be inventoried for wilderness. For unknown reasons, the BLM inextricably called this unit the "Blue Wing Mountains" rather than using the USGS recognized name "Bluewing Mountains" that first appeared on the 1935 Lovelock 60-minute topographical map (surveyed in 1929-1930). The name for the mountains remained "Bluewing" through the printing of the 1981 Juniper Pass, Bluewing Flat North, and Bluewing Flat South 7.5-minute USGS topographical sheet maps. Although the BLM corrected the name of the misspelling of Blue Wing to Bluewing in the Winnemucca District Office 2013 Resource Management Plan, the misspelling of "Blue Wing" would introduce an error into the USGS digital database and lead to the erroneous spelling “Blue Wing” for the mountains and the flat within the database, which is in direct conflict with the correct spelling “Bluewing” on all printed USGS maps.
The 1980 BLM Wilderness Study Areas Decisions whittled the NV-020-222 unit down to 32, 745 acres that met the requirements for naturalness, then dropped the entire area from wilderness consideration, citing lack of opportunities for solitude and opportunities for primitive outdoor recreation. As was systematic throughout the BLM during this time period, the criteria for wilderness were biased toward well-watered, alpine environments and areas like the Bluewing Mountains were rejected for despite having outstanding opportunities for arid land solitude and primitive recreation. Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) has been working with the conservation community and Pershing County for conservation protections of Bluewing Mountains since the early 2000s. FNW's commitment to stewardship for the Bluewing Mountains includes natural, wilderness character, and dark sky monitoring along with various mapping projects in the region.