Services, Getting There
Supplies: Cedarville, CA, is 25 miles to the northwest; Susanville, CA, is 70 miles to the southwest.
Hikes & Trails
Benchmark Gazetteer, pages 30, 38.
Act or Law:
State Region: Northwest Nevada
Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management Local District: Surprise Field Office Contact Info: (530) 279-6101 602 Cressler St Cedarville, CA96104 Visit the website (will open a new window)
Honoring Native Lands
The Smoke Creek National Conservation Area (NCA) is part of the traditional homelands and life-ways of the Nuumu (Northern Paiute) people. Native American use of this land reaches back countless generations.
Hays Canyon Range National Conservation Area (NCA) includes Wall Canyon Wilderness Study Area, Two Hats Inventoried Wilderness, Hays Canyon Inventoried Wilderness, and former private lands, which were purchased to assure and protect the habitat of this remarkable landscape. Hays Canyon Range NCA features an astounding diversity of landscapes and wildlife habitats from towering peaks surrounded by abundant canyons to buttes, rims, and upland benches containing hidden valley with seasonal shallow lakes, to the meandering, deep Wall Canyon and its numerous tributaries. Elevations range from 4,500 to 7,900 feet. The steep slopes, tall, dense sagebrush, juniper trees, small aspen groves, and and large rocks dominate the landscape. Vistas of the neighboring Warner Mountains, Massacre Rim Dark Sky NCA, and glimpses down into the deep Surprise Valley create world-class scenic opportunities. The Hays Canyon Range NCA will also help assure continued protection for the darkest skies in the nation.
Hays Canyon Range NCA Map (Proposed)
Archaeological surveys of the region reveal a highly complex pre-historic settlement pattern. Temporary camps and hunting-related lithic scatters were found on the benches and slopes above drainages, at rim-edge chipping stations, near canyon rock shelters and at sources of massive obsidian. Petroglyphs can be found within in this unit as well.
According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, a majority of this area contains critical and irreplaceable habitat for the greater sage grouse. This region contains some of largest and most productive sage-grouse leks in Nevada. Friends of Nevada Wilderness believes that full wilderness status for this area, and restoration of important lek, nesting and brood-rearing habitat could help stave off a listing of the bird under the Endangered Species Act and help the bird's population to recover.
Wildlife: Sage-grouse, pygmy rabbits, mule deer, pronghorn, a variety of raptors, songbirds, and sage-dependent species.
See the Hays Canyon Range NCA Gallery
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