Pahute Peak Wilderness
Print Page

Photo of Pahute Peak wilderness area

The Wilderness is located in western Humboldt County about 40 miles northeast of the town of Gerlach. The Wilderness can be accessed by taking the Soldier Meadows Road (Humboldt County Road 200) north from Gerlach.
The Pahute Peak Wilderness, straddles a northwest-southeast ridge of the central Black Rock Range, flanked on the east and west side by the Black Rock Desert. Elevations range from 4,050 feet to 8,594 feet on the top of Pahute Peak, also known as Big Mountain. The Wilderness offers outstanding opportunities for solitude.   Aspen, mountain mahogany and a small stand of white bark pines can be found on the north side of Pahute Peak. The southern portion of the wilderness contains several areas of colored “badlands” including one named Fremont’s Castle after the early explorer John Fremont who traveled the area in 1843. For the horse enthusiast there are plenty of wild horses and other mammals such as, California big horn sheep, mule deer, antelope, chukar and sage grouse.
Recreational Opportunities

A portion of the Desert Trail (the trail is not a developed trail but a point to point route) traverses the Wilderness. Climbing Pahute Peak (called Big Mountain on USGS maps) gives the visitor a view of the entire NCA and associated Wilderness Areas. Major 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 roads that form the boundaries of the Wilderness provide excellent four-wheel driving and mountain biking opportunities.

Map index graphic for the Pahute Peak wilderness areaClick here for a map of the Pahute Peak Wilderness (953K pdf).

Last updated: 05-14-2008