Rough Hills Wilderness Study Area

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Map Information

Wilderness Area Status


Wilderness Study Area
Year Designated:

Act or Law:
Acres: 6,685
State Region: Northeast Nevada
County Regions: Elko   


Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Local District: Elko Field Office
Contact Info: (775) 753-0200
3900 East Idaho Street  Elko, NV89801
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Area Description

This small gem of a wilderness study area is an island of rhyolite flows, domes, plugs and volcanic tuffs. Two miles of the Bruneau River flows through the area and meadows and aspen stands are common. Rough Hills contains the head of the Bruneau River Canyon. The Name of this wilderness study area is a bit misleading: these are mountains, not hills, and the Bruneau River Canyon is actually quite deep. Water is a powerful eroding force in this area and is also a force for transformation.  The lush canyons give evidence to water's life-bringing qualities, creating an amazing the Nevada riparian "jungle" that busts forth from even the smallest trickle of water. Although small in size, this wilderness study area has ample size, remoteness, and natural beauty to satisfy the wilderness explorer 

The BLM did not initially approve Rough Hills as a wilderness study area. Friends of Nevada Wilderness members appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals to have it officially included as a wilderness study area. The BLM later recommended to Congress that this small but mighty area be Wilderness.