Dry Valley Rim Wilderness Study Area

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Map Information

Wilderness Area Statusphoto_dryvalleyrim1_jsippel_400.jpg

Wilderness Study Area
Year Designated:

Act or Law:
Acres: 76177
State Region: Northwest Nevada
County Regions: Washoe   


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Eagle Lake Field Office
Contact Info: (530) 257-0456
2950 Riverside Drive  Susanville, CA96130photo_dryvalleyrim2_jsippel_400.jpg
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Breaking News- April 7, 2023

On April 7, 2023, Senator Rosen released a working draft of the Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act. A portion of this act includes permanent conservation protection for 268,658 acres of the Dry Valley Rim, Twin Peaks, Buffalo Hills, and Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Areas re-branded as the Smoke Creek National Conservation Area (NCA). Included within the proposed NCA are the Burro Wilderness (6,343 acres) and Wrangler Wilderness (49,540 acres).

Area Description

With elevations reaching 6,200 feet, a 17-mile-long, east-facing fault block rising 1,500 feet above the surrounding country forms the central feature of the Dry Valley Rim WSA. From the top of the rim you can experience breathtaking vistas of the desolate Smoke Creek Desert falling away to the east. This unexplored region promises a high potential for the discovery of early man archaeological sites.

Colorful patches of bright green, yellow and orange lichens contrast with the rich browns and blacks of the rimrock. In the spring, spectacular wildflower blooms add brilliant blues, violets and yellows to the riot of color.

Wild horses, burros, and antelope are found throughout the WSA, and the Dry Valley Rim itself provides an outstanding habitat for raptors. The northern 2/3 of the WSA protects valuable strutting grounds for the rapidly-decreasing population of Nevada Sage Grouse. Wildlife viewing is best on the broad western slopes where wintering deer and antelope herds congregate. Bands of wild horses and burros are also common. They graze on the blanket of sagebrush and grass.

Dry Valley Rim WSA is part of a larger complex of wilderness study areas, with the Buffalo Hills, Poodle Mountain, Twin Peaks and Skedaddle WSAs. Burro Mountain, Tule Peak and the Granite Range expand the habitat and open space to ensure the connectivity from Hart Mountain through the Sheldon, Wall Canyon, and Black Rock regions through to the Sierra Nevada.

Throughout this sweeping complex, benches, canyons, groves, ephemeral lakes and rock outcrops provide varied topography and habitats for sage-grouse and other wildlife. In the last decade, thousands of acres of private lands were made public through funding from the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.

The now-public springs and riparian areas in this complex provide essential brood habitat for sage-grouse. Managing these areas to enhance ecological health will benefit not only sage-grouse population growth, but also other wildlife and human visitors as well.

Hiking and hunting here. Explore the rugged canyon areas of the northern upland. This fault block rises gradually from the western side of the WSA to the abrupt 500 to 1500 foot face of Dry Valley Rim on the east side.

This Wilderness Study Area is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands.


Nevada sage-grouse, deer, pronghorn, raptors.