Wildhorses at Sand Creek Barrel Springs Byway at sunset.  Photo by Laurie Sada Upper Wall Canyon creek.  Photo by B. Parrott Windmill at Sunset in Surprise Valley Sunset reflection on Upper Lake in Surprise Valley.
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Surprise Field Office


From beautiful Surprise Valley at the base of the towering Warner Mountains, east into the high dessert valleys and mountains of northwestern Nevada, the Surprise Area Office administers almost 1.5 million acres of Public Land. Most visitors from California take Highway 299, east from U.S. Highway 395, to the ranching community of Cedarville in the Surprise Valley. Another paved highway, Nevada 447, provides access from the Reno area.

The Surprise Valley/Barrel Springs Back Country Byway takes the traveler across lakes, through canyons and valleys and over mountain cliffs. A unique free Byway Tour Guide booklet is available to enhance the driving experience. In the gold rush of 1849, the most used route of the California National Historic Trail crossed this region with High Rock Canyon National Historic Site as one of the most famous locations in the journals of the Emigrant Trail pioneers. The striking view from Fandango Pass is both a Byway and California Trail attraction. In the Nevada portion of the Area, the few improved and many unimproved roads provide a wilderness driving experience. The explorers who stop to enjoy the wildlife or wildflowers, or camp to watch the sunset cast its spell -- can have it all to themselves.

What do you want to do? 


Prehistoric rock stack above Boot Lake


Phalarope at Boulder Reservoir


Stone sign for Fee Reservoir Launch Facility


GPS unit sitting on a rock with sagebrush in the background

Hiking / Backpacking 

Fluffy clouds over mountians in the high desert



Ducks swimming in wetland. 


 Off Highway Vehicles

UTV parked next to Wall Canyon Reservoir in Nevada


Rockhounding / Casual Use/ Mining 

Rockhounding in the Surprise Field Office under Blue Skies 





Scenic Back Country Byways

Sunrise along the Barrel Springs Byway


  Wilderness Study Areas

Little High Rock Canyon, photo taken from the rim looking down into the canyon deep shadowed canyon.



Bureau of Land Management
Applegate Field Office
708 West 12th Street
Alturas, CA 96101
Phone: (530) 233-4666
Fax: (530) 233-5696
Office Hours: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email