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The Desatoya Mountains Wilderness has no established trails, however there is an easy to follow, 1/2 mile user-trail from the mouth of Big Den Creek up to a nice waterfall. This area is reached from a 5-mile dirt road that intersects with historic highway Nevada 722, 1.25 miles east of East Gate. About 1.3 miles below the end of the Big Den Creek road, another dirt road branches to the north and leads to the mouth of Willow Creek. From the end of this road, explorers can pioneer routes to reach the high ridge of the Desatoya Mountains and follow this ridge north to Desatoya Peak. This west wall of the Wilderness is an extremely steep and laborious climb of more than 3,000 feet in 2.4 miles. The entire Wilderness is open for skilled explorers to enjoy on foot or on horseback. Self-reliance is required to plan and explore the rugged country of this sublime wilderness. The steep canyons on the west side of the Wilderness require rock-scrambling skills and the summit ridge provides uninterrupted visits of northwestern Nevada's mountainous Great Basin. Where mountain mahgony grows thick, passage becomes very challenging and difficult.
In August of 2015, a lightening-ignited fire burned nearly 4,000 acres of the southern-most Desatoya Mountains Wilderness, north of old US Highway 50 (NV State Route 772) and Carrol Summit. The fire raced through the Dry Canyon area and up the slopes of Bald Mountain. In 2016, Friends of Nevada Wilderness partnered with the Bureau of Land Management to lead 3 volunteer ecological-restoration trips to the Desatoya Mountains Wilderness to plant seedlings.