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Santa Rosa - Paradise Peak Wilderness Trails

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Santa Rosa - Paradise Peak Wilderness Trails

The Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak Wilderness is a lonely and rarely visited place, yet it parallels a major state highway on its west side and a state route on its east side. Several roads provide access both sides of the wilderness. All are gravel or dirt. Although 4-wheel drive isn't necessary for most, a high-clearance vehicle is advisable. Westside roads are flat, soft, sandy tracks with high centers; eastside roads are rocky clay that is slick when wet. There is one developed trailhead at Singas Creek with a horse unloading ramp, hitching rails, a large circular parking area and informational bulletin board.

Located 30 miles north of Winnemucca, the area is reached by gravel roads off SR 290 and US 95. These lead to dirt roads that run up each of the major drainages on the the east and west sides of the range. The primary access road is the Canyon Creek and Indian Creek roads. A road north of Hinkey Summit leads to Lye Creek campground and offers motorized access to the northern part of the area.


East Side: SR 290: Summit Trail

  • Main trailhead: Singas Creek

  • Other access: Abel Creek, Hanson Creek, Lamance Creek.

West Side: Hwy 95:

  • Buffalo Canyon Trail - 10 miles round trip

  • Falls Canyon Trail - 4 miles round trip to end, 1 mile round trip to falls

  • Horse Canyon Trail - 6 miles round trip

  • McConnell Creek Trail - 5 miles round trip

The Summit trail
This runs north-south along the east side of the range almost the entire length of the wilderness, crossing through several drainages before dropping over the west side of the ridge to end at Buffalo Canyon trailhead. Approximately half the trail is actually in the wilderness; the rest runs parallel a few hundred feet below the boundary. The most accessible section, from Lamance Creek to Buffalo Canyon, is about 10 miles long.

Eastern Access:
All the eastside trails are accessed via state route 290. The main trailhead for the Summit Trail is at Singas Creek. Hidden from view by foothills, the Singas Creek basin is filled with aspen, peaks with vertical granite faces, and streams fed by the spring snowmelt. Other access points for the Summit Trail include: Abel Creek, Hanson Creek and Lamance Creek; all with similar topography and scenic vistas. The Summit Trail continues north into Big Cottonwood Canyon, private land with a locked gate currently blocks vehicle access to the northern trailhead.

Western Access:
All of the westside trails are accessed from Hwy 95 north of Winnemucca. The trail in Andorno Creek is accessed through private land. Permission should be requested from the owner of the Andorno Ranch before crossing private land. The Buffalo Canyon Trail is a 4.5 mile climb through phyllite outcrops and the headwaters basin to the summit of the range. It ties into the Summit Trail at the head of Abel Creek.

Falls Canyon
This trail passes a small waterfall about 1/2 mile into the 1.5 mile trek. The trail in Horse Canyon is two miles long with dramatic views of mudslide scars, remnants of mother nature's strength. The two-mile hike up McConnell Creek rewards you with a spectacular view of Santa Rosa Peak which can be scaled by only the hardiest of hikers. The Rebel Creek trail is a gradual climb of about three miles. From this vantage point, one can see the near-vertical rim of Santa Rosa Peak, which is crescent-shaped with windswept limber pine growing at the treeline before dropping into the headwaters of Cottonwood Creek.

Arrowleaf balsamroot blooming high in the Santa Rosa Range.  (c) Pete Dronkers