High Rock Canyon
HIGH ROCK CANYON IS OPEN FOR THE SEASON
High Rock Canyon is designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) due to the exceptional scenic values, important wildlife habitat including bighorn sheep habitat and high-density raptor nesting, National Register quality archaeological sites and districts, and the 14 miles of the Applegate Trail (a National Historic Trail) with emigrant graffiti present throughout the canyon. The Northern Paiute trail through High Rock Canyon was first recorded by a Euro-American, Captain John Fremont, in 1844. The Applegate brothers guided emigrant wagon trains through the canyon on their way to Oregon's Willamette Valley. In 1849 and into the 1850's it was a well beaten path to the gold fields and towns of California. But today it is far off the beaten path and that fact makes it a particularly special place.
High Rock Canyon east to High Rock Lake is very rugged and remote and can be driven in four-wheel vehicles by experienced and well equipped explorers. It is recommended that visitors bring extra spare tires, food, and, and water when traversing through the canyon. High Rock Canyon Road is closed each year between the end of chukar hunting season (around February 1st) until the second weekend in May to minimize human disturbance on nesting raptors and lambing bighorn sheep.
Camping is limited to designated sites only:
- Red Bluff Camp
- Conlon Camp
- Pole Canyon Camp
- Fox Homestead
For more information on the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, please visit the informational page here.