Numunaa Nobe National Conservation Area now protects the following lands identified as possessing Wilderness quality:
Stillwater Range Wilderness Study Area
The Stillwater Range Wilderness Study Area includes roughly the central third of the Stillwater Mountain Range. Elevations range from 3,400 feet in Dixie Valley to 7,615 feet at the summit of Eagle Peak. The colorful geologic formations and rugged terrain offer outstanding scenic values in Hare and Mississippi canyons. The land is somewhat rolling, with no discernible timber line. Water is scarce and generally found only at a few springs. There are no perennial streams. The rugged vertical relief along the east side is a result of the result of rapid uplift of the Stillwater Range along the Dixie Valley fault. A seismic event in 1954 produce a vertical scarp along the foot of the range with vertical displacements up to seven feet still visible today.
The Stillwater Range supports high quality Sage Grouse habitat. Desert bighorn sheep, once native to the range but eliminated through poaching and diseases transmitted by domestic sheep, which grazed the area until the 1940s, were successfuly reintroduced into the WSA in 1985.
Job Peak Wilderness Study Area (aka Fox Peak)
The Job Peak WSA includes roughly the southern third of the Sillwater Mountain Range. Elevations range from about 3,600 feet in Dixie Valley to 8,785 feet at the summit of Job Peak, the highest point in the Stillwater Range. Striking natural features are associated with the rugged canyons in the northeast portion of the area stretching from Coyote to Little Box Canyon. The uplands of this stunning area feature craggy peaks alternating with broad, rolling summits. There are no perennial streams in this WSA, but small pockets of riparian vegetation live along intermittent streams in several eastside canyons and around springs. A visible fault scarp on the east side is a result of the 1954 earthquake. In places, the earth has been displaced up to seven feet.
Stillwater Additions Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
Rising to a single tall ridge, this area bridges the gap between the Stillwater WSA and the Job Peak WSA. Covered in beautiful forest and extensive sage, the mountains forming this ridge are steep and beautiful. Deep canyons fall off to both the east and west, draining into the Dixie Valley and the Carson Sink respectively. East and West Job Canyons are some of the most scenic, however Lambing, Cox, Poco, IXL, and many others are also large and spectacular. Within these canyons brush is thick and greenery ever-present, while the mountains and ridges dominate the skyline. From the top, views are extensive and expansive in all directions, encompassing much scenic and desolate terrain.
This area is quite scenic and natural. The hillsides rise tall and are controlled by the forces of wind and water. Frequent erosion wears down this terrain, and creates deep canyons throughout the region. Within the canyon bottoms, a lush environment of vegetation takes hold and adds contrast to the surrounding desert. Cottonwoods, wild rose, willows and other water loving plants cluster around these desert oases. The hillsides are covered in sage as well as junipers, pinion pines, and many other shrubs and bushes. In general, the eastern side of this region seems to receive more water, manifest in the form of increased plant life. Many animals also call this region home, occasionally dipping down to the water for a drink. Mule deer, antelope, and other grazing animals are common here. Reptiles, rodents, and many predators also hide out among the vegetation and thrive in this habitat. Both birds of prey, and smaller sage birds can be found as well. Rugged trees and extensive forest creates many roosts, while extensive water and plentiful sage also create prime habitat. The extensive sagebrush and frequent riparian habitat of this region provide excellent habitat for sage grouse. Chukar, a very similar bird, is also quite common here. This is a beautiful and pristine natural area.
This Unit is isolated and remote, part of a vast area of desolate desert lands. Here, dramatic terrain, as well as thick vegetation, and open expanse help to create a feeling of solitude. Deep canyons and rugged landscape provide an environment where many may enter and each one would find deep isolation and outstanding opportunities for solitude. In these lands one gets a sense that nature is in control, and humanity is distant.
Job Contiguous Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
South of the Job Peak, is an area of high quality Lands with Wilderness Characteristics that are contiguous with the Job Peak WSA. Steep canyons, tall peaks, and rugged terrain provides destinations for hiking and backpacking. Several tall peaks and hills also provide challenge for peak baggers and those wishing to summit. Views from the ridge are majestic and stretch far in all directions. Open stands of pinyon and juniper characterize the mid elevations, interspaced with a diverse sagebrush community. Crags and numerous outcrops of firm rhyolite and other volcanic rock give opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering. The interesting rock formations provided outstanding features for photography and rock scrambling.
The Job Peak contiguous area, when combined with the entirety of the Numunaa Nobe, creates an outstanding opportunity for immersion into a vast complex of wilderness and solitude. Deep canyons and rugged landscape provide an environment where many may enter and each one would find deep isolation and outstanding opportunities for solitude. In these lands one gets a sense that nature is in control, and humanity is distant.
See the Additional Resources Tab on the left side for more on the conservation History of Numunaa Nobe NCA.