The Arc Dome Wilderness comprises the southern third of the Toiyabe Range, a rugged spine of mountains with difficult access, and includes the range's highest summits. Much of the Wilderness lies above 10,000 feet, but Arc Dome itself, at 11,775 feet, dominates the area. On the west side, the ground rises gradually from the Reese River Valley; on the east, rocky canyons break up steep inclines. Vegetation consists of sagebrush and grass lower down, and gives way to pinion-juniper higher up, with occasional stands of pine and aspen. Much of the high country is open, affording visitors outstanding expansive views. Desert bighorn sheep, once abundant in the state, seldom appear except in the Jett Canyon-Twin Rivers region in the eastern section. Mountain lions, bobcats, deer, beavers, grouse, and raptors are more established, but it's the trout in the Reese River, South Twin Creek, and North Twin Creek that qualify as a bona fide wildlife attraction (among anglers, at least). Trails from the eastern boundary give access to both Twin Creeks and some beautiful country. The Toiyabe Crest Trail, a 72-mile designated National Recreation Trail, sweeps through more than 30 miles of the area, from a parking lot at Ophir Summit to a parking lot at South Twin, offering access to the summit of Arc Dome. This trail boasts great views but little water, and subsequently feels the tread of few human feet. The Cow Canyon Trail, from the western boundary, follows the Reese River for about a mile, then splits to give access to other trails and most of the Wilderness.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Arc Dome Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.