Services, Getting There:
The Simpson Park WSA is located north of Highway 50 between Austin and Eureka.
Hikes & Trails:
The Pony Express National Historic Trail and the Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area are immediately south.
Benchmark pgs- 50 & 58; DeLorme pgs- 38 & 46
Wilderness Area Status
Wilderness Study Area
Managing Agency: Bureau of Land Management
The Simpson Park WSA is surrounded by Grass Valley to the west and Monitor Valley to the east. Fagin Mountain forms the central high point of the area towering to 9147 feet. The majority of drainage occurs in the east. Ackerman Canyon, a major canyon in the southeast, drains southerly while multiple creeks stem from the Horse Canyon area in the northeast. Ferguson Creek serves as the main source for drainage out of Shagnasty Basin. An abundance of active springs, surround the Basin, a large group of them sandwiched between Shagnasty Peak and Fagin Mountain, provide water to Ferguson Creek. McClusky Peak makes up the high ground in the north at 8481 ft and Bates Mountain in the south at 8944 ft. A vast sea of sagebrush flows across the southern and eastern foothills.
Grubbs Canyon consists of an abundance of Mule’s ears, rabbitbrush, a mix of pinion and juniper trees and a small amount of Great Basin wild rye sprinkled in or near riparian areas. The canyon also possesses impressive rock formations and jagged rock-topped peaks towering high above. Dead Horse Canyon hosts a small and subtle flowing creek, draped in a dense canopy of old growth aspens. Shagnasty Basin is blanketed in low sage, mule’s ears, and small groves of aspen limited within the draws along. Intriguing rock formations can be found throughout this basin.
Wildlife is common here, and many sage and shrub birds are found nesting in the foothills. Antelope and mule deer also graze this terrain, and many reptiles and small rodents find shade in the brush. Larger predators including mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes wander the land and can be found at all elevations. Larger birds of prey including hawks and falcons nest in the many tall trees and cliffs of these mountains, soaring high above the land. Telemetry studies show that sage-grouse use all elevation zones on the Simpson Park Mountains for nesting, brood-rearing, and summer habitat. Protecting these key breeding zones is an important part of sage-grouse conservation in this region
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