Carson City District
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Off-Highway Vehicle Opportunities on the Carson City District

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The public lands managed by the BLM-Carson City District (CCD) offer a wide variety of opportunities for off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation.  Of the 5.3 million acres managed by the CCD, 4.1 million acres are designated open to OHVs.  The remaining acreage is divided between areas designated as closed (25,485 acres) and those designated as limited use (898,045 acres).

Open Areas:
Traveling in an open area demands that the rider be more aware of impacts caused by OHVs and drive in a responsible manner.  Even though areas allow unrestricted use of OHVs off trails, cross-country travel should be kept to a minimum in order to protect fragile vegetation, help minimize soil erosion, and prevent a proliferation of visually offensive trails.  There are plenty of existing roads and trails--use them whenever possible!

In an area designated as open you have the freedom to travel where you would like, but you also have the responsibility to minimize OHV impacts to help ensure this freedom continues to be available to you and others in the future.  While most of the public lands in the field area have this designation, there are several areas that have become popular with OHV enthusiasts for the terrain and challenges they offer.  These areas include:

Sierra Front Field Office:
Wilson Canyon - located between Wellington & Yerington off NV State Route 208
Hungry Valley/Moon Rocks Area - located north of Reno off Winnemucca Ranch Road
Lemon Valley Motocross Area - located off Lemmon Valley Road, immediately north of the Stead Airport

Stillwater Field Office:
Sand Mountain - located 20 miles east of Fallon on the  north side of U.S. Highway 50 (the main dunes are open with vehicle use in the Kearny buckwheat/vegetated areas around the main dunes is limited to designated routes).

Limited Use Areas:
Lands are designated as limited in order to protect their resource values such as watershed, wildlife or cultural resources.  The limits placed on OHV travel in these areas most often limit OHV use to existing or designated roads and trails.  Less commonly, the limit may be a seasonal closure, as in the case of the Sand Hills, located north of Reno off Red Rock Road.

Areas with limited designations include:

Sierra Front Field Office:
Bagley Valley - 5,143 acres limited to designated roads and trails;
Red Rocks Scenic Area - 700 acres limited to designated roads;
Incandescent Rocks ACEC - 67,500 acres limited to designated roads and trails;
Sand Hills Winter Deer Range - 13,300 acres CLOSED from 12/1 to 4/30, and OPEN 5/1 to 11/30;
Jumbo Grade - 8,600 acres limited to desingated roads and trails;
Indian Creek Recreation Area - 6,065 acres in Alpine County, CA., limited to designated roads and trails with 268 acres closed;
All Wilderness Study Areas - limited to existing roads and ways;
Southern Washoe County - all BLM managed lands in T23N and southward are limited to existing roads and trails and not within 50 ft. of residences;

Any Burned Area
- regardless of other designations, these areas should be treated as limited to existing roads and trails to allow vegetation a chance to recover.

Stillwater Field Office:
Sand Mountain - located 20 miles east of Fallon on the  north side of U.S. Highway 50 (vehicle use in the Kearny buckwheat/vegetated areas around the main dunes is limited to designated routes).

Closed Areas:
The closed designation is used primarily to protect significant cultural and natural resources.  These areas are signed closed and OHV travel is strictly forbidden within them.  It is important that you read and heed these signs so that further restrictions on OHV use are not required.

Areas with the BLM-Carson City District Office area that are closed to OHV travel include:

Sierra Front Field Office:
Bagley Valley - 378 acres closed with 5,143 acres limited; 
Carson-Iceberg Wilderness Study Area - 550 acres;
Faye-Luther Trail in Alpine County - 894 acres;
Fred's Mountain - 3,100 acres;
Indian Creek Recreation Area - 268 acres (South Tahoe PUD right-of-way);
Petersen Mountain Natural Area - 5,120 acres;
Slinkard Wilderness Study Area - 2,375 acres;
Land adjacent to the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony - 1,940 acres

Stillwater Field Office:
Grimes Point Archaeological Area - 400 acres
Sand Springs Desert Study Area - 2,156 acres

Photo of the entrance sign to Sand Mountain Recreation Area
Sand Mountain Recreation Area in Churchill County is an example of an area popular with OHV enthusiasts that has lands designated as both open, limited to designated routes, and closed areas. Each designation is in place to protect a variety of resources.
Last updated: 09-12-2016