The Ely District manages 22 Wilderness Areas. Fourteen are in Lincoln County and resulted from the Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004. Eight are in White Pine County and resulted from the White Pine County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2006.
Wilderness Areas are defined by the Wilderness Act of 1964 as a place "…Where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." Designation is meant to ensure that the land is preserved and protected in its natural condition. Wilderness Areas can contain ecological, geological or other features that have a historic, scenic or scientific value.
Wilderness Areas offer visitors outstanding opportunities for solitude, as well as primitive and unconfined types of recreation. Caving, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, primitive camping, rock climbing and rocking hounding are all allowed inside Wilderness Areas. Mechanized forms of transportation, such as automobiles, ATVs, motorcycles and mountain bikes, are not allowed inside Wilderness Areas.