The Meadow Valley Range Wilderness is a land of rolling bajadas speckled with cholla, yucca and Joshua trees, intricately carved canyons forested with pinyon pine and juniper, and jagged mountain peaks topped with stands of old-growth ponderosa pine. These peaks rise from 2,100 feet within the Wilderness boundaries to 5,022 feet. Each contains inspiring beauty and jaw-dropping surprises. Conical buff-based Sunflower Mountain sits astride the main ridgeline. A natural arch endures in the northern part. The various climates and elevations in these areas provide important habitat for a wide spectrum of wildlife. The low elevations provide crucial habitat for the desert tortoise, the banded Gila monster, the white bearpoppy, Clark mountain agave, desert banded gecko, the sidewinder and the long-nosed leopard lizard. Higher in the mountains, it’s possible to spot desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, bobcat and mountain lion. An impressive variety of raptors live in the area. Burrowing owl, golden eagle, ferruginous hawk, red-tailed hawk, prairie falcon, Cooper’s hawk, northern harrier, merlin and American kestrel are some of the birds of prey that have been spotted in the region. Vegetation consists of low desert shrub with the exception of the northern section of the Meadow Valley Mountains, which is pinyon and juniper forest.
The Meadow Valley Range is boomerang-shaped, measuring approximately ten miles east to west, and arching about thirty-six miles from north to south. It consists of three major landforms; the long ridgeline of the Meadow Valley Mountains, a large bajada beginning high on the main ridge sloping easterly towards Meadow Valley Wash, and finally Bunker Hills five miles from the southern section of the central bajada. Even the ground itself offers a glimpse into the distant past. Fossils in the limestone hills give us snapshots of life hundreds of millions of years ago, when these high inland mountains were merely sediments accumulating at the bottom of the sea. And the mountains themselves give a bird's-eye view of nature's erosional forces at work.
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 Meadow Valley Range Wilderness.
The Meadow Valley Wilderness is located in Southern Lincoln County fifty miles northeast of Las Vegas. Access to this Wilderness is 30 miles south of Alamo, Nevada on federal highway 93.
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.
Lincoln County Conservation, Recreation, and Development Act of 2004 - Public law 108-424 (11/30/2004) To establish wilderness areas, promote conservation, improve public land, and provide for the high quality development in Lincoln County, Nevada, and for other purposes.
The long ridgeline offers many peaks, narrow canyons and passes to explore. Sunflower Mountain makes a focal point, with a color and texture markedly contrasting with the surrounding terrain. Grapevine Spring on the west end is a hiking destination. On the east side, Hackberry and Virgo Canyons make good day hiking areas. Backpackers will find numerous loops and through routes. Rock scrambling terrain abounds.
Safety and Current Conditions
Contact Caliente Field Office for current weather, road conditions, and hazards.
Want to Volunteer for Wilderness?
Citizens who volunteer their time to steward our wilderness areas are an essential part of wilderness management. Contact the following groups to inquire about volunteer opportunities.