Nevada's Big Rocks Wilderness area encompasses the southern-most portion of the North Pahroc Range. Topography of the area includes steep-sided mountains, high walled canyons, and areas covered with large jumbles of boulders, one of which is known as Mecca by the rock climbing community. These boulder fields are composed mainly of volcanic deposits of welded tufts that have weathered into unusual rock formations. These rock formations were often used as message boards by our ancestors and still exist in high frequency throughout the area today.
Vegetation ranges from desert brush and grasses at lower elevations to pinyon pine and juniper stands at middle and upper elevations. Spring flowers can include prickly pear cactus and cholla. Remember that cutting or removing vegetation is not permitted. Gathering wood for camp fires, when permitted, is limited to dead and down material. Many animals can be seen in this area, however most notable are the raptors.
Recreational opportunities include climbing, bouldering, camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, and horseback riding. Little Boulder Spring hiking trail is two miles long and begins on the east side of the wilderness area. This trail winds its way up to a peak with views of the South Pahroc Range. You will encounter ponderosa pine, and interesting jumbles of boulders along the trail. There are excellent opportunities for solitude in Big Rocks Wilderness area, particularly among the boulder fields, or within one of the canyons leading off of the mountain range.
The Big Rocks Wilderness is in central Lincoln County, NV, north of Federal Highway 93. Access to this wilderness area from Caliente, NV, is via Federal Highway 93 westbound for approximately 30 miles. Turn right onto BLM Road 2201 northbound. The road is distinguished by a turnout. This dirt road runs along the western, northern, and eastern boundary of the Big Rocks Wilderness. It is a maintained road only up to the southern boundary.
Signs indicating "Wilderness" and "Closed Road" or "Closed Route" are placed at various intervals. Obey all posted signs.
Vehicles can be parked outside the wilderness boundary.
Pets are allowed, but please keep your pets under control at all times.
Removal, disturbance, or attempting to remove archaeological materials is a felony.
Contact Ely or Caliente BLM Offices for current road conditions and hazards.
Elevation: 6,844 ft (highest point)
District: Lincoln County
Coordinates (WGS84): 37.6997237, -114.9533404
Nearest town: Alamo, NV
Windy with a few clouds. Lows overnight in the low 40s.
Partly cloudy skies. Gusty winds during the evening. Low 43F. Winds N at 20 to 30 mph.
Windy with a few clouds from time to time. High 63F. Winds N at 20 to 30 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.
Last updated on
Thu, 27-Apr 6:58 pm
Precipitation patterns are highly variable in Great Basin National Park. The wettest year on record at Lehman Caves was 21.2 inches of precipitation in 1982 and the driest year was 7.4 inches in 1953.
The Virgin Valley opal fields in northern Nevada produce a wide variety of precious black, crystal, white, fire, and lemon opals. These mineraloids, which have weathered out of the in-place deposits, are alluvial and considered placer deposits. The largest unpolished black opal in the Smithsonian Institution, known as the Roebling opal, came out of the tunneled portion of Nevada's Rainbow Ridge Mine in 1917, and weighs 2,585 carats.
The black fire opal is the official gemstone of Nevada.