Lonely, rarely visited, and subtle, this area is quintessential basin and range country: no lakes, no alpine meadows, no large coniferous forests. Located in north-central Nevada, it encompasses the south end of the Santa Rosa Mountains, with 9,701-foot Santa Rosa Peak in the northern section as its highest point. Paradise Peak in the southern section overlooks rugged granite, a profusion of spring wildflowers, sweeping basins above pockets of quaking aspen, and an abundance of wildlife. Mountain lions and bobcats are elusive but common inhabitants, and California bighorn sheep have been introduced. Eagles and hawks soar with the wind in the higher country, while upland game birds, grouse, and partridge dominate lower elevations. Cold streams provide a home for many trout, including the threatened Lahontan cutthroat. Rattlesnakes and hornets threaten the unobservant in summer. The Summit Trail, with a trailhead at Singas Creek on the east side, crosses the northern section, slips outside the boundary on the east side, and reenters to cross the southern section. The Buffalo Canyon Trail, on the west side, climbs through rock outcroppings for 4.5 miles to join the Summit Trail at the top of the range. The Falls Canyon Trail passes a small waterfall about one-half mile into its 1.5-mile length. The two-mile McConnell Creek Trail offers a rewarding view of Santa Rosa Peak, whose summit can be reached with some strenuous hiking.
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 Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak 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.