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Blue Lakes Wilderness Study Area

Wilderness Area Status

Wilderness Study Area
Year Designated:

Act or Law:
Acres: 20508
State Region: Northwest Nevada
County Regions: Humboldt   


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Winnemucca Field Office
Contact Info: (775) 623-1500
5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard  Winnemucca, NV89445
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Area Description

The Blue Lakes WSA includes the highest portions of the Pine Forest Mountain Range. Blue Lakes were formed by a moraine-damned stream, made after a mountain glacier melted and left a large cirque which was then filled by springs from the surrounding hillside. Other evidences of glaciation, such as polished and striated rock, moraines and glacial canyons are also present. The topography is steep with slopes averaging 60%. Waters of the Pine Forest Range drain into valleys that originate near the summit and vary from broad meadows to steep draws.

This area supports subalpine and sagebrush steppe ecosystems and extensive riparian zones. Limber and whitebark pine trees live at some of the higher elevations.

A heavily-used fishery, Blue Lakes is stocked by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

The chief recreational attractions are the clear, cold subalpine lakes, nestled in a cirque, fed by snowmelt and abundant springs. These glacial lakes are separated by narrow moraines. A scenic place for hiking and camping, hunting and fishing, horse packing and rock climbing. The variety of terrain, scenic landforms and presence of vegetation are all attractions.

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

Wildlife: Mule deer, antelope, muntain lion, sage grouse, chukar and bighorn sheep.

The Blue Lakes WSA in northern Humboldt County  (c) Brian Beffort

Blue Lakes Wilderness Study Area  (c) James Sippel

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