Pactolus Hills

Inventoried Land with Wilderness Character (LWC) in the Battle Mountain BLM District30809695816_c07507be20_z.jpg

Current LWC Status: Proposed

Acres: Nye

State Region: West Central

County: 24,324

Managing Agency

Bureau of Land Management

Battle Mountain District Office

50 Bastian Rd. Battle Mountain, NV 89820

(775) 635-4000

Battle Mountain District BLM Website

Area Description:

This unit is comprised of the northern Pactolus Hills and the surrounding alluvial slopes and of the alluvial plain east of Paradise Peak.  This unit comprises a divers Great Basin Desert landscape characterized by saltbrush, rabbit brush, ephedra and rice grass in the lower elevations, cliffrose and prickly pear cactus in the canyons, and dense stands of pinion /juniper intermixed with sagebrush in the upper elevations.  The rugged and colorful Pactolus Hills ridge lies in the core of the unit, dotted with scatter juniper and pinion trees.  The alluvial plains east of Paradise Peak offer a rolling, sagebrush grassland dissected by drainages 20 to 40 feet deep. This unit provides important winter habitat for the mule deer of the Paradise Range and the Shoshone Mountains.  Pronghorn can be found here though out the year.   Raptors are plentiful as are rodents and other prey species. The 2016 FNW inventory crew spotted a badger along the eastern boundary.    

The high rolling terrain in the core is comprised of convoluted canyons and ridges offering nearly unlimited opportunities to find secluded spots.  The vast alluvial plains on the east side of the unit offer outstanding opportunities for solitude in the sheer scale of the land punctuated be a maze of small drainage canyons that allow visitors to vanish into the landscape.  The isolated juniper and pinion trees found throughout the central portion of the unit provides welcome shade from the sun and a respite from the relentless winds. This is truly a remote and isolated place where outstanding opportunities for solitude abound. 

This unit offers outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation. 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, and chukar are some of the animals available for game.  The area offers outstanding desert hiking and exploration opportunities, including excellent rock scrambling, and route finding.  The colorful rock formations throughout the central core of the unit combined with expansive alluvial plains of the lower elevations and the distant vistas of spectacular mountains  create outstanding opportunities for photography, painting and sketching.   This area presents spectacular outstanding vistas at every turn. The area is rich in both prehistoric and historic archaeological resources for visitors to explore and investigate.  Hiking, orienteering, backpacking, rock hounding, bird watching, primitive camping, horseback riding, burro and llama packing, hunting, and general sightseeing complete the possibilities for outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation within this unit.


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