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Black Rock-High Rock Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area - There are excellent opportunities for primitive camping throughout Black Rock-High Rock Country. The major draw to this area is the wide open spaces and lack of visitation that provides breathtaking views and unlimited solitude.  While most camping occurs in a dispersed fashion, there are a few areas with primitive camping facilities.

Most campers find random locations without any camping facilities, but provide ample opportunities for solitude.  There are many dispersed campsites located along the western edge of the Black Rock Desert playa in the "bays" and other nooks located ‘just off’ the edge of the playa. Many campers enjoy camping in the middle of the playa, which offers a unique experience that could make anyone feel small.  Other dispersed campsites are established near the ends of the wilderness cherry-stem routes, in the vicinity of the hot springs (Trego, Black Rock and Double Hot), and along roads throughout the NCA. Several primitive campsites have also been established at Cassidy Mine and Flowing Wells, which are located on the western fringe of the playa, between the playa and Soldier Meadows Road. Remember.

The best campsites are found, not made - use existing campsites where possible to prevent unnecessary impacts to the desert resources.  

Soldier Meadows - Semi-primitive camping facilities are located within the Soldier Meadows Hot Spring Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and on private ranch lands owned by Soldier Meadows Ranch. Facilities on BLM lands include primitive campsites (parking areas and fire pits), a vault toilet, a primitive cabin, and walking trails that lead to the hot springs.  There are seven defined campsites in the ACEC.  Five are located in the Hot Creek Campground, one is at the Cabin Site, and the last is located above the Hidden Spring to the west of the main hot springs area. The primitive cabin is available for public use on a first-come first-served basis.

Soldier Meadows Ranch also allows camping on their property with permission and a small fee. They also provide lodging and meals.  Link to: http://www.soldiermeadows.com

Soldier Meadows is one of the most highly visited areas in the NCA.  If you are looking for solitude, this may not be your place.

High Rock Canyon - High Rock Canyon is a popular camping area for the adventurous types who have 4WD and know how to use it.  There are no camping facilities at the campsites in High Rock Canyon, but there is an abundance of solitude and interesting side canyons to explore.  To prevent impacts to California bighorn sheep and raptor nesting, camping is limited to designated sites in High Rock Canyon. The road through High Rock Canyon is seasonally closed from February 1st until the second weekend in May. 

Steven's Camp - Stevens Camp is a popular camping area located at the North end of High Rock Canyon.  It is a convenient and accessible camping area that provides a good base camp for exploration of High Rock Canyon and the surrounding uplands - rich in game and not many people.  There are four established camping areas at Stevens Camp, including a large site near the free use cabin. The cabin site(s) includes amenities such as a vault toilet, picnic tables, fire pits and a grill. The cabin itself is available for public use on a first-come first-served basis and includes amenities such as running water (must be treated prior to drinking), a wood stove, a shower and hot water heater, and connections for generator to provide power and lights to the cabin.

The cabin is full most of the summer, so don’t expect to be the only person looking to use the facilities.

Massacre Ranch - Located along the historic Applegate Trail in northwestern Nevada, Massacre Ranch is a primitive cabin that is open to recreation use on a first come first serve basis. The cabin has a wood stove, lights and electrical outlets (generator required), a table, and an outside fire pit. Water may not be available on site and all water should be treated prior to use. Massacre Ranch sits at over 6,000 feet above sea level and can be a comfortable location in the heat of the summer.

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Wilderness Study Area (LCT WSA) - This area encompasses a healthy and productive watershed that was established as a Wilderness Study Area (WSA) to protect an unaltered population of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. The canyon from the north slope of the Black Rock Range provides excellent habitat for deer, antelope, bighorn sheep and wild horses.  The aspen filled canyons and cool desert streams provide a welcome escape during the hot summer season.  Primitive campsites are scattered throughout the area along the streams and roads.  There are no facilities at these campsites.  Fishing is prohibited in the streams and in Summit Lake.  

Remember to bring your own water, firewood, and shelter.  These items are not easily found or reliable throughout the year. 

Camping Rules within the NCA
Camping is allowed only in designated campsites at Soldier Meadows and High Rock Canyon. Other areas near the hot springs at Stevens Camp and Massacre Ranch will be limited to designated sites in the future.Vehicles are allowed to travel off of designated routes, within 50 feet, to camp.

It is recommended to use existing campsites where possible.Campfires on the playa must be contained or elevated to prevent scarring or burning of the playa surface.No person(s) shall occupy any developed or undeveloped site for longer than a period of fourteen (14) days within a twenty-eight (28) day period. Following the fourteen (14) days the person(s) must relocate to a site outside of at least twenty five (25) miles radius of the occupied site.

Chimney Reservoir - Located at the junction of the north and south forks of the Little Humboldt River. Developed campsites can be accessed on the east shoreline. Boat launching facilities and vehicle parking is provided adjacent to the campsites. There is no charge for use of the facilities. Regular garbage service is not provided.

Water Canyon - Rising almost 2,000 feet above the town of Winnemucca, Water Canyon is one of the premier recreation areas in Northern Nevada.  Managed by the BLM-Winnemucca Field Office, this area offers sites for overnight camping, picnics, hiking, biking and even limited ATV use, all at no charge to visitors.  The BLM has installed campfire rings, grills, trails, shelters and information kiosks all in an effort to improve one of Winnemucca’s closest recreational opportunities.  Click here for more details.

No Matter Where You Campout, Check Out Our Skies at Night - the Stargazing is Super!  Black Rock-High Rock country has some of the best opportunities for viewing the stars and other heavenly bodies. Unobstructed views and limited light pollution make places like the playa and Soldier Meadows excellent choices.  So bring along a good pair of binoculars and maybe even a telescope.

Backpacking in High Rock Canyon
Backpacking in High Rock Canyon
Shady Respite at Steven's Camp
Shady Respite at Steven's Camp
Photo of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Wilderness Study Area
Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Wilderness Study Area
Last updated: 03-18-2008