Hiking, Mountain Biking, and Equestrian Riding
Hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian riding are available across the District. Opportunities range from heading out on your own to marked trails at one of the developed recreation sites. Almost anywhere you see a trail or a two track, you can ride or walk. However, mechanized transportation, including bicycles, are not permitted in designated Wilderness. Check the area you are recreating in and obey all signs.
There are a few mountain bike specific opportunities in the Ely District, however a bicycle is a great way to explore many of the scenic two-track roads and jeep trails in the area. The signed trail systems listed below, consist of a combination of two-track roads and single-track trails. Always practice Leave No Trace and plan ahead and prepare and be sure to let someone know where you’re going. The Ely district is very remote and help could be a long ways off.
Below are BLM system trails for hiking, biking and equestrian riding found within the Ely District.
Ward Mountain Recreation Area
There are 20 miles of trails that meander through the sagebrush and pinyon-juniper forests of Ward Mountain. These trails are available for hikers, bikers, cross-country skiers, and horses. Warming huts/rest shelters are available along these trails. This site is jointly administered by the BLM and the USFS. A developed campground and additional trails are located across the Highway at the US Forest Service administered recreation site. Contact Humboldt/Toiyabe National Forest, Ely Ranger District, for more information.
Things to note: 4 trail loops various lengths: 20 miles total / 32.1 km. Other amenities: Picnic tables, shade structures, trash cans and restrooms at trailhead. No potable water Restrictions: motorized use is limited on the ski trails.
How to get there: The BLM trailhead is approximately 6 miles south of Ely off Highway 6. When you reach the summit on US 6 take the spur road to the west to reach the North Trailhead. The South Trailhead managed by the U.S. Forest Service and accessed via the Ward Mountain Campground, is also located on US 6, and is marked with a sign.
Egan Crest Trail System
The Egan Crest Trail System provides recreationists with 24 miles of trails with a variety of terrain from the rolling sagebrush flats to the higher elevations in pinyon and juniper forests. The trails consist of single-track and signed two-track roads and are open to hiking, mountain biking, equestrian, motorcycles, and ATVs. Beautiful vistas await along the high points of the trail.
Things to note: 2 trail loops and 2 connector trails: 24 miles total / 38.6 km. Other amenities: Picnic tables and shade structures at trailhead. No potable water.
How to get there: the BLM trailhead is approximately 8 miles west of Ely off Highway 50 on the north side of the road.
Sacramento Pass Recreation Area
The recreation area is centrally located on the crest of the Snake Range with Great Basin National Park for a backdrop. Across the highway to the north Blackhorse ghost remains to explore. The Osceola Town site is still an active mining community that has unique mining equipment present to the southwest of the recreation site. A network of signed two-track roads allows hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders and OHV enthusiasts a chance to explore some beautiful country and see some historic mining ruins. There are also three single-track trails that explore the unique rock formations near the campground. These trails are not open to motorized use.
Things to note: 3 trail loops various lengths: 6.5 miles total / 10.4 km. Other amenities: Picnic tables, grills, shade structures, trash cans and restrooms at trailhead. No potable water. Camping available in 10 sites with a 14-day limit.
How to get there: the BLM trailhead is located along Highway 50 about 40 miles east of Ely or 15 miles west of the Utah border. Look for the sign on the south side of the Hwy.
American Discovery Trail
This trail is not a BLM designated route. It is a series of gravel roads and two tracks linked together in Nevada, largely on isolated, relatively unused dirt roads. Around 100 miles of the American Discovery Trail crosses through the Ely District from Baker, NV through the White Pine Range.
For more information, go to www.discoverytrail.org/states/nevada/index.html
Things to note: dispersed camping is allowed along the route. No potable water or facilities other than in designated campgrounds.
How to get there: the town of Baker is on the Utah – Nevada state line along Highway 50.