Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character (LWC) in the Battle Mountain BLM District
Current LWC Status: Proposed
State Region: West Central
Bureau of Land Management
Battle Mountain District Office
50 Bastian Rd. Battle Mountain, NV 89820
Battle Mountain District BLM Website
Mt. Moses LWC is an area of tall mountains and pristine sagebrush steppe ecosystem, located in central Nevada. The Fish Creek Mountains are a volcanic range located in central Nevada near state highway 305. These mountains are rough and rugged, gradually gaining elevation towards the south, and reaching their highpoint at Mt. Moses (8649 ft).
Numerous smaller mountains and hills flank Mt. Moses, with deep canyons cutting through the area and dramatic topography throughout. This is most evident along the western side of the LWC, where canyons drain directly from Mt. Moses into the Jersey Valley 4000 feet below. These rugged canyons are scenic and choked with vegetation, yet pose as a testament to the power of water in this desert environment. The most dramatic drainages are on the northern side of these mountains, but beautiful twisting canyons. Many of these canyons drain towards Fish Creek, a flowing stream which cuts a deep canyon through volcanic tablelands and marks the northern extent of the LWC. The landscape is wide open and sprawling, with sweeping views of lava capped mesas and sage covered hills. Deposits of volcanic ash and mudflows occasionally punctuate the landscape.
What exists here has been shaped by natural forces, and is being managed by the wild rhythms of the earth. Volcanic rock throughout this range hints at the region’s powerful past. Rhyolite and andesite compose much of this rock, and are capped by other lava flows and interspersed with volcanic tuffs. This rock has been further shaped by wind and water, two dynamic forces which are still present today. Signs of flash flooding and washouts can be found throughout the canyons of this LWC, and the wind is ever-present. These forces have created an impressive natural landscape, which is unique and spectacular. Wildfire's signature can be witnessed across the area.
For a desert mountain system, this unit is quiet well-watered with numerous springs, seasonal creeks, and even several perennial streams. Adding further variety, a few aspen groves can be found scattered across the LWC’s higher elevations. These groves are beautiful, and provide shelter for some of the many wild beasts that live here.
Cottonwood Basin in the south central portion of the unit is deeply remote and offers wilderness users with outstanding opportunities to find solitude in this valley hidden from the rest of the unit and from the surrounding valleys. The eastern 2/3rds of the unit is comprised of rolling hills and tablelands bisected with sinuous canyon systems. Visitors can easily get lost in the landscape and by dropping into one of the numerous canyons, will vanish completely from the surround world. This region also contains the unit’s heaviest stands of juniper woodland. These elements combine to create outstanding opportunities for visitors to find virtually an unlimited number of isolated spots. Many visitors could enjoy these lands simultaneously, with no impact on the experience of one another. The area is immensely quiet, and a strong feeling of isolation is ever-present. This is truly an escape from the world, an area of great solitude and complete immersion into nature.
This area is not easy to explore, however, nearly every inch of this unit is accessible to the visitor with the determination and skills to traverse trackless wilderness. Birds and wildlife are present as well, providing opportunities for viewing and excellent hunting for skilled backcountry hunters. Mule deer, pronghorn, chukar, and sage grouse are some of the animals available for game.
The tall summit of Mount Moses provides an outstanding destination for peak-baggers and those wishing to view the world from elevated heights. The rugged canyons on the east side of the unit provide miles of isolated exploration and opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering. The 92,907 acres of this unit provide outstanding opportunities for long day excursions and overnight exploration. This unit also is host to numerous springs and several perennial streams making longer trips easier to plan and present limited opportunities for fishing. Scenic mountains and rugged canyons provide an incredibly interesting landscape for hiking and exploring, with numerous destinations and routes possible. The variation and diversity of vegetation throughout the unit would be of interest to those who enjoy nature study. Less rugged terrain throughout the central and eastern portion of the area is excellent for horseback riding and horsepacking as well.