Services, Getting There
Supplies: Cedarville, CA is 40 miles to the northwest.
Hikes & Trails
USGS topo: Mahogany Mountain, High Rock Lake, Nettle Spring Mountain & Yellow Hills W. See also BLM's Winnemucca Field Office Northeastern Recreation Guide. DeLorme Gazetteer: page 18.
Map of High Rock Canyon Wilderness (PDF)
Wilderness Area Status
Designated Wilderness Area
Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
The High Rock Canyon Wilderness is painted with layers of white, gray, orange and brown rock formations. The bright green of the canyon floors and pockets on the walls contrast with the grey green of sagebrush. A 360 panorama of valleys, terraces and mountain ranges open up 60-mile vistas in all directions. The wilderness area's northeast border hits the abrupt edge of High Rock Canyon. Antelope and birds of prey are common here.
"It was a singular place to travel through shut up in the earth, a sort of chasm, the little strip of grass under our feet, the rough walls of bare rock on either hand, and the narrow strip of sky above."
During the last frigid days of 1843, John C. Fremont led his expedition through a steep walled canyon following a creek he trusted would bring him at last to the Buenaventura River, a fabled watercourse believed to flow from the Rocky Mountains to San Francisco Bay. Fremont did not know that he had entered the Great Basin and the creek he now followed beneath the towering walls of High Rock Canyon would never reach the ocean. In a few dozen miles the waters of the creek would sink into sediments and disappear beneath the greatest of Nevadas dry lakes, the Black Rock Playa. During the peak year of 1849, more than 10,000 wagons passed through the canyon. Before the influx of gold seekers, the canyons were home to humans for at least 10,000 years and every rock shelter and spring has incdications of this use.
This wilderness is a component of the Bureau of Land Management's National Conservation Lands.
Wildlife: Long-nosed Leopard Lizard, Zebra-tailed Lizard, Great Basin Rattlesnake, Gopher Snake, Mule Deer, Mountain Lion, Pronghorn, Bobcat, Desert Cottontail, Chukar, Great Horned Owl, Greater Sage-grouse
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