Current Protection


Management Agency

Bureau of Land Management


2023 National Defense Authorization Act (December 23, 2022)

Total Area

40,303 Acres  

The Desatoya Mountains Wilderness is rugged with many peaks and ridges rising above 9,000 feet. Deep-cut canyons on the west side contain fascinating rock formations and riparian communities. East of the ridgeline the terrain is more rolling with many drainages. Elevations range from 5,400 feet adjacent to the valleys to 9,973-foot Desatoya Peak (the highest peak in Churchill County). Outstanding views stretch eastward toward the Shoshone and Toiyabe Ranges and westward to the Clan Alpine, Stillwater and Sierra Nevada Ranges. Spectacular canyons, ridges and rock outcrops are present throughout the Wilderness. The Big Dens and Willow Creek areas are well known for their scenic quality.


Agency Information

Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Carson City Field Office
Address: 5665 Morgan Mill Road  Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: (775) 885-6000



The Desatoya Mountains Wilderness is part of the traditional homeland and cultural landscape of the Nuumu and Newe People, who have lived in the area for countless generations.


The 1979 BLM Initial Inventory report recommended that 76,800 acres of the Desatoya Mountains (Unit NV-030-110/NV-060-288) be intensively inventoried. The Desatoya Mountains spread across to counties, Churchill and Lander and two BLM district offices, Carson City and Battle Mountain.  As a result of the 1980 Intensive Inventory, 48,150 acres of the Desatoya Mountains were recommended for Wilderness Study Area status. The 1983 Lahontan Wilderness Technical Report recalculated the size of the Desatoya Mountains WSA as 51,262 acres. Learn about the Conservation History of this area on the Additional Resources tab. Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) has been actively advocating for conservation protections of the Desatoya Mountains since the 1970s. FNW's commitment to stewardship for this Wilderness includes working with partner organizations and the BLM monitor natural, wilderness character, and dark sky resources, ecological restoration projects, along with various mapping projects in the region.

See FNW's Flickr Page for images of Desatoya Restoration Projects.

See Video of FNW's 2016 Desatoya Restoration Project here.