Calico Mountains Wilderness

A view of the Calico Mountains from across the valley to the east

The Calico Mountains are a typical, north-south trending, Great Basin mountain range in northwestern Nevada. The wilderness contains about 64,984 acres in a 17-mile-long, 7-mile-wide chunk in the southern portion of the range. The northern boundary is against the High Rock Lake Wilderness.

Elevations range from a low around 3,950' to a high of 8,491' at the summit of Donnelly Peak. The lower reaches of the wilderness carry some saltbrush and greasewood but most of the vegetation in this area is straight-out sagebrush. You'll also find small riparian areas with cottonwood, aspen and willow in some canyons. Area wildlife includes California bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mule deer, mountain lion, coyote, sage grouse and kit fox. You may also find a herd of wild horses in the area.

The Calico Mountains got their name from the wildly colorful rock layers and formations that make up the southern portion of the range. Calico Mountains Wilderness is part of the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. The eastern side of the Calico Mountains Wilderness (Petrified Canyon, Mormon Dan Canyon and numerous other side canyons) is accessible via the Soldier Meadows Road. The turn off is about 30 miles northeast of Gerlach.

BLM Map of the Area - 300 KB.

More of the multicolored hills of Calico Mountains Wilderness
Calico Mountains Wilderness
Looking up at the summit of Donnelly Peak
Donnelly Peak
Calico Mountains Wilderness map
Map of the Calico Mountains Wilderness area
Photos and map are courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management  
Black Rock Desert area map

Related Pages

Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!