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
This unit lies in the southern Esmeralda County, Nevada, approximately 25 miles north of Beatty. This unit is comprised of a dissected alluvial plain stretching up into the foothills of the Grapevine Mountains. Elevations vary from 4350 feet on the northern most corner of the unit up to 6050 atop the scatter hilltops in the southwest portion of the unit. The low relief alluvial fan portion of this unit is characterized by a convoluted system of drainage channels 15 to 20 feet deep carved by flashflooding. The lowest elevations of this unit are comprised by communities of hop-sage, salt grass, rabbit brush, and blackbrush intermixed with creosote bush, cholla , and Joshua Trees. Cliffrose grows along the upper washes and scattered sagebrush and a few pinyon pine trees can be found at the upper most elevations. Rabbits, rodents and reptiles form the dominate fauna of the region. Seasonally, migrating song birds pass through the unit and ravens and raptors utilize the rocky outcrops in the hills for perches. Wild burros frequent the area.
The alluvial drainage system on the lower alluvial fan offers scattered draws where visitors can instantly drop over the edge of the washes and find secluded spots. The hills and upland washes of the unit provide many opportunities for solitude. Additionally, this unit is contiguous with designated wilderness in Death Valley National Park. BLM management policy has long recognized that when a unit is contiguous with a designated wilderness, opportunities for solitude do not stop at the administrative boundary. This is truly a remote and isolated place where outstanding opportunities for solitude await discovery by the determined visitor.
Birds and wildlife are present as well, providing opportunities for viewing. The area offers outstanding desert hiking and exploration opportunities, including route finding and peak scrambling. The abandoned railroad grade offers a delightful trial to follow through this empty landscape. This trail presents insights into the construction and determination of the earliest efforts of the settlers to cross this land. Historic artifacts abound along this route including remnants of the telegraph line that once provided a crucial communication link between Central and Southern Nevada. The varied terrain combined with the wide-open nature and enigmatic Joshua trees playa of this unit create outstanding opportunities for photography, painting and sketching. The views within the unit are spectacular, whether one is looking at the grand, wide landscape stretching off into the surrounding wild areas or focused on the charming detail of the plants and colorful rocks and hills that comprise the unit. Hiking, orienteering, backpacking, rock hounding, bird watching, primitive camping, horseback riding, burro and llama packing, and general sightseeing complete the possibilities for outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation within this unit.