Sand dunes dominate the landscape in the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area.
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

Surprise Valley Barrel Springs Back Country Byway

Blue sky with white clouds against the red gravel of the Barrel Springs Backcountry Byway.  Photo taken by Laurie Sada

Surprise Valley Barrel Springs Back Country Byway

From prehistoric stories to revisiting the Old West, this Back Country Byway Loop reveals some of the secrets of the Great Basin Desert.

This distinctive 93-mile driving tour takes the traveler through a wide variety of natural settings and points of interest. The Byway forms a loop that begins and ends in Cedarville, California and takes a minimum of three hours without stops. But travelers will be tempted to stop, particularly if they are using the 32-page BLM Byway Tour Guide which tells the historic and prehistoric stories of the Surprise Valley, points out the myriad of attractions in the state line mountains (from fossils and a pictograph site to wildlife) and reveals some of the secrets here in the silent Great Basin dessert. Be sure to take your camera, especially if you're crossing the highway causeway across Surprise Valley's Middle Lake at sunset.

All of the Byway is paved in California and an improved gravel road in Nevada. The Nevada segment can be driven by all types of vehicles when the route is dry.  Please stop by the Surprise Field Office in Cedarville for current road conditions.

For further information contact the Bureau of Land Management's Surprise Field Office in Cedarville at (530) 279-6101.

Photo of Barrel Springs compliments of Laurie Sada.



The Buckhorn Backcountry Byway

The Buckhorn Byway starts on Nevada State Route 447, south of Surprise Valley and meanders west 31 miles across the northwestern Nevada and  northeastern California landscape of scattered juniper, fields of silver-blue sagebrush, volcanic rock formations and small valleys. Ending up at U.S Highway 395 northeast of Susanville. 

Buckhorn Backcountry Byway

For further information contact the Bureau of Land Management's Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville at (530) 257-0456.