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Carson City District - Sierra Front Field Office

Wilson Canyon on the West Fork of the Walker River

A Popular Spot to Camp, Fish & Ride in Lyon County

ATV LogoMotorcycle LogoBicycling LogoLimited Camping FacilitiesLimited Day Use FacilitiesFishing Logo

Over the past ten years Wilson Canyon has become as a place to camp, fish, hike, picnic and ride off-highway vehicles (OHV).  With this increased use has come increased pressure on the natural resources of the area, particularly the Walker River corridor.  Vegetation has been destroyed and soils have eroded and washed into the river.

In cooperation with other federal and state agencies, Lyon County and citizen groups, the BLM has fenced and erected signs along the bed and banks of the river.  Pedestrian access to the river will continue, however, in order to protect this fragile resource motorized vehicles and camping are not allowed inside the fence.  OHV use and camping still may take place away from the river itself.  Our management emphasis continues to assure that multiple use can continue while protecting the natural resources of the area for the enjoyment of future generations.

You can help protect Wilson Canyon and continue to enjoy the recreational opportunities that the area offers by following a few common sense guidelines:

  • Respect private property – leave fences, gates and signs as you find them.
  • Keep a clean campsite. Leave no trace of your visit. Do not cut down or destroy any bushes, trees or other vegetation.
  • Use the existing toilet facilities or bring a portable toilet with you. Do not drain gray water or holding tanks onto the ground or into the river. Bybee’s store, in Smith provides an RV dump station for only $3.00.
  • Practice sound OHV riding techniques
  • Ride on existing roads and trails. Do not pioneer new trails or ride in the river.
  • Keep dust and noise down by not riding fast along the frontage roads. Get off your motorcycle or ATV and push it across the highway to the nearest access trail.
  • Observe safe speeds – 25 MPH on Copper Belt Road and 5 MPH in the Rest Area and around campsites. Ride on the RIGHT.
  • Avoid using steep hill climbs near the river. They cause erosion and create ugly scars that everyone in the canyon can see.
  • Fire restrictions are in effect. Absolutely NO OPEN FIRES ARE ALLOWED – this includes campfires and charcoal cooking fires.

If you have any questions please see a BLM staffer or call us at 775-885-6000.

Photo of the sign at the east entrance to the Wilson Canyon area.
Picnic tables are available on the north side of Nevada State Route 208, overlooking the West Fork of the Walker River.
Picnic under the shade of the huge cottonwood trees along the south bank of the West Fork of the Walker River.