Cedar Ridge Wilderness Study Area

Services, Getting There:

Hikes & Trails:

Related Areas: 

Red Spring WSA 2 miles north; Ruby Mountain Wilderness 10 miles east

Atlas Information:

cedarridge13_03_PylesJ.jpgWilderness Area Status

Wilderness Study Area
Year Designated:

Act or Law: 

Acres: 10009
State Region: Northeast Nevada
County Regions: Elko   


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Elko Field Office
Contact Info: (775) 753-0200
3900 East Idaho Street  Elko, NV89801
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Area Description

The Cedar Ridge itself runs north/south throughout the region and is mostly encompassed within the boundaries.  Capped by a tall and resilient band of limestone, the highpoint of Cedar Ridge sits at 7149 feet in the northern portion of this WSA.  A second notable peak sits at 7076 feet, and is more centrally located within the area.  The limestone that comprises the heart of this unit is host to many fossils. Vertebrate fossils, mollusks and cephalopods, and other marine fossils can be found throughout the area.  Of particular prominence are crinoid segments, which are quite common in this WSA. The eastern side of this ridge is fairly gradual, it is also severely eroded, gullied, and dramatic.  The west side is an up-tilted, deeply-dissected bench. Here, bent layers of ancient sediment dip towards the east and are cut off along the western side of the ridge. Throughout the area Utah juniper trees are common and often form a thick forest cover.  Occasional pinyon pines also exist and add variety to the hills.  Sagebrush, rabbit brush, and bunch grasses are common as well and carpet the hills in between trees.  Other desert vegetation such as Mormon tea and cactus are rarer but can still be found throughout the area.  Hiking along the central ridge provides outstanding recreation opportunities, and outstanding views of the finest northern Nevada scenery in all directions. This Wilderness Study Area is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands. The area hosts evidence of prehistoric occupation and historic use as a wood-cutting source for Elko dating back to the 19th century. There is no surface water.cedarridge13_04_PylesJ.jpg


The most common large mammals are antelope and mule deer, with frequent sightings available to the visitor as well evidence such as scat.  Although unseen, large predators also lurk within the area.  Rodents, reptiles, and small birds live in the brush and vegetation and are occasional disturbed by passing travelers.  In addition, limestone cliffs and features throughout the area provide excellent nesting habitat for larger birds of prey.  These birds can often be spotted circling high above Cedar Ridge.