Services, Getting There
Hikes & Trails
Wilderness Area Status
BLM-inventoried Land with Wilderness Character in the Carson City District Resource Management Plan.
Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Chukar Ridge is an incredible natural area dominated by rocky ridgelines and large washes in the north morphing to taller hills and deep canyons in the south. Overall the terrain is rugged and spectacular, the product of natural forces including rockfalls, flashfloods, and wind erosion. The northern portion is incredibly stark and arid, with hearty saltbush throughout, clinging to the steep hillsides and adding a grey sheen to the land. Due to the lack of water north of Wildhorse Canyon, the vegetation is less varied, and the geological structure of the land tells the story of the fiery origin of this country. South of Wildhorse Canyon, elevations increase providing a slightly cooler and a little more available moisture. Several springs provide water, Pinion Pines and Junipers cover the hills, and sagebrush makes an appearance. Some of the canyons also contain bitterbrush, greasewood, and other varieties of desert plants. The landscape takes on a more colorful appearance, and life seems to flourish in comparison to the barren north. This area is excellent habitat for bighorn sheep, pronghorn, and the occasional mule deer. Large predators also certainly lurk the area, and smaller desert animals are apparent as well. Numerous birds also find nests and roosts in the cliffs and rocks as well as in the abundant shrubbery. This area is alive with natural forces and wildlife.
Although the area presents tantalizing clues to past human use, it sees little visitation modernly. This is a vast and desolate desert landscape, where the incredible expanse alone shields those who enter. Furthermore, deep canyons and rugged landscape provide an environment where many may enter and each one would find deep isolation and outstanding opportunities for solitude. In these lands one gets a sense that nature is in control, and humanity is distant. There is little sound but the wind through the ridges and the occasional call of a wild animal. The modern world and cares of society seem an eon away, and one feels truly alone.
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