BLM Battle Mountain Field Office, 50 Bastian Road, Battle Mountain, NV 89820 (702) 635-4000
BLM Tonopah Field Station, P.O. Box 911, Tonopah, NV 89049 (702) 482-7800
Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area
The Hickison Petroglyph Recreation area is located along U.S. Highway 50, 24 miles east of Austin, Nevada. An easy walking, self-guided interpretive trail, one-half mile long, winds around prehistoric petroglyphs that were created 500 to 1,000 years ago. Nearby hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities are limitless. Elevation is 6,500 feet, camping is free, and 16 overnight primitive camp sites are available year-round. Small to mid-sized recreational vehicles can be accommodated, however, there are not any electrical hook-ups, potable water, or dump stations available at the site. The recreation area offers a day use site, picnic tables, fire rings, two vault type toilets, and a shaded area for the weary traveler. Bring your own firewood as the collection of wood and other forest products on developed recreation sites is prohibited. Rock climbing is not allowed on or around the petroglyphs. Writing on the rocks defaces our national heritage and is illegal. No firearms or fireworks may be discharged in the area.
Mill Creek Recreation Area
Historically Mill Creek was the site of a 1930's Civilian Conservation Corp work camp. The area is shaded by tall cottonwood trees in a canyon setting and provides a popular fishing area for brook and rainbow trout as well as birdwatching. Mill Creek Recreation Area is a no fee site, offering 11 tent sites, picnic tables, fire rings, and accessible restrooms. Three recreational vehicle sites are also available. Electrical hook-ups, dump stations, and potable water are not available. Mill Creek Recreation Area is located 24 miles south of Battle Mountain, on State Route 305 and is signed. Elevation at the recreation area is 5,200 feet. Campfires are allowed in the rings provided. It is a good idea to bring your own firewood or charcoal. Discharge of firearms and fireworks within the recreation area are prohibited.
This popular turn of the century gold rush-Ghost town includes the most photographed building in the west; the Cook Bank Building as well as Nevada's best preserved bottle house. Rhyolite was born when gold was discovered in 1904. The town boomed and grew until the decline of the Montgomery-Shoshone Mine and by 1911, Rhyolite had fallen to Ghost Town status. The turn-off to Rhyolite is located 4 miles southwest of Beatty, Nevada on State Route 374 or California State Route 194 and is signed. The area is a no fee site, for day use only, and is open year round. There are BLM caretakers at the site that provide interpretive presentations about the history of the bottle house and Rhyolite. Elevation at the recreation area is 3,800 feet. Please leave the area as you would want to find it in the future. Federal Laws prohibit removal of any artifacts.
Lunar Crater Volcanic Field
In 1973, Lunar Crater was recognized as an outstanding example of the nation's natural heritage and designated as a National Natural Landmark. Cinder cones, craters, and lava flows cover more than 100 square miles and represent the latest episode in the long eruptive volcanic history of this area. The Lunar Crater Volcanic Field is crossed by U.S. Highway 6, seventy-five miles east of Tonopah and ninety miles west of Ely, Nevada. Elevations range from 5,753 feet near Lunar Lake to 6,570 feet near Easy Chair Crater. There are no facilities or water in the area so please come prepared with plenty of food, gasoline, and water. High clearance vehicles are recommended. Motorized vehicle travel is restricted to existing roads.
The turn-off to Tonkin Spring is approximately 25 miles west of Eureka, Nevada on U.S. highway 50 and signed (the 3-Bars road). From the turn-off, travel 35 miles north on a maintained gravel road to the recreation area. This recreation site is isolated and undeveloped with no facilities, so please plan your outing accordingly. Elevations range from 2,000 feet at the site to 3,089 feet at the top of Roberts Creek Mountain. Camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing are the activities to be enjoyed at Tonkin Spring. High clearance vehicles are recommended. Roads can become impassable during rainy or snowy periods.
Railroad Valley Wildlife Viewing Area
This wildlife viewing area in central Nevada is reached via U.S. Highway 6, northeast of Tonopah about halfway to Ely. Four separate areas provide habitat for migratory and nesting waterfowl, non-game birds, mammals, and fishes. The areas cannot be seen from the highway, so it is a surprise to take a dirt road and find a wetland with tall reeds. Chimney Springs, Locke's Pond, Big Well Ponds, and Blue Eagle Pond are four refuge areas accessible over dirt roads. One hundred and forty seven bird species are recorded in this area; almost half are listed as common. Late spring and early fall are suggested times for visitation due to impassable roads during inclement weather. High clearance vehicles are recommended. This wildlife viewing area is undeveloped with no facilities, so please plan your adventure accordingly.
Fish Lake Valley Wildlife Viewing Area
Fish Lake Valley can be reached by traveling west on U.S. Highway 6 from Coaldale, Nevada, then turn south on State Route 264 toward Dyer. The valley can also be reached by traveling south on U.S. Highway 95 from Tonopah to the Lida junction with State Route 266. Follow State Route 266 west to Lida, continue on to Oasis, California, then turn north to Dyer, Nevada. Fish Lake Valley is an area where lost migratory birds can be found. Eastern wood warblers are the most common strays. Stray birds know they're lost, so they seek out habitats similar to the habitats they originated from. Fish Lake Valley is one of the few areas similar enough to the Eastern warblers home to provide these strays with a sanctuary for awhile, sometimes all summer. Remember, this birding bonanza is present here only during short times of the year. Open water is at a premium. Some of the ponds and riparian areas are privately owned irrigation storage ponds. These ponds usually have a good number of birds on them. While most landowners will permit birding as long as one practices good outdoor etiquette, some will not.
The Lunar Crater Back Country Byway
The Lunar Crater Back Country Byway begins on U.S. Highway 6, seventy-five miles east of Tonopah and ninety miles west of Ely, Nevada. Set among the bold volcanic features of the Lunar Crater Volcanic Field, the Byway follows an unpaved road through terrain characteristic of the Great Basin. The 24 mile Lunar Crater Back Country Byway was only recently designated in September, 1997, and brochures, route markers, and interpretive signing have not been developed. There are no facilities or water in the area so please come prepared with plenty of food, gasoline, and water. High clearance vehicles are recommended. Motorized vehicle travel is restricted to existing roads.