High Rock Canyon Wilderness
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Photo of High Rock Canyon wilderness area

The Wilderness is located in western Humboldt and northern Washoe Counties about 40 miles southeast of Cedarville, CA. The High Rock Canyon Road can be accessed from Washoe County 8A and the Stevens Camp Road from the north, or from Washoe County Road 34 and the High Rock Lake Road from the south. The High Rock Canyon Road is closed each year between the end of chukar hunting season (around the 1st of February) until the 2nd weekend in May to minimize human disturbance on nesting raptors and lambing bighorn sheep.
High Rock Canyon Wilderness remains unaltered from the days when John C. Fremont first mapped the canyon and subsequent emigrant wagon trains followed the route through High Rock Canyon on the Applegate-Lassen Trail. During the peak year of 1849 as many as 10,000 wagons passed through the canyon. Outstanding scenic vistas occur from a multitude of locations within the area. Turning away from the canyon rims, the view becomes a 360 degree panorama of valleys, terraces and mountain ranges up to sixty miles away. The many cliffs and rock formation supports a wide range of wildlife habitats including a nesting raptor population of golden eagles, prairie falcons, hawks and owls. The canyon floors and walls are home to excellent populations of quail and chukar. Shaded canyons support a small yearlong mule deer population which swells with winter migrants. The sparsely sage brushed covered buttes and uplands are home to pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and wild horses.
Recreational Opportunities

High Rock Canyon which forms the eastern boundary of the Wilderness provides the opportunity to experience the historic Applegate Lassen Emigrant Trail. High Rock Canyon is outside of the Wilderness and contains a rough jeep trail that is open to vehicles (see seasonal closure information above) Side canyons in the area provide for excellent dayhiking and backpacking opportunities. Hunting for deer, antelope, bighorn and chukar is popular in the area. Rugged dirt routes that form the boundaries of the Wilderness provide excellent four-wheel driving and mountain biking opportunities.

Map index graphic for the High Rock Canyon widerness areaClick here for a map of the High Rock Canyon Wilderness (916  Kb pdf).

Last updated: 05-14-2008