Millions of years ago, this area was a major volcanic center, spewing lava flows over the landscape. Now this ancient caldera, cut into twisting shapes and inspiring colors by millions of years of erosion, is a rewarding destination for a weekend escape. Exceptional opportunities abound for solitude and adventure in this land of rolling hills, rugged peaks, and jagged rock outcrops of rhyolite in natural hues of pink, yellow, red, orange and brown as well as twisting canyons and perennial waters. The volcanic peaks of the Clover Mountains Wilderness rise from about 2,900 feet to 7,600 feet above sea level. Narrow twisting canyons, cliffs, rock outcrops, peaks, ridges and saddles create a scenic land of surprise. High in the mountains live old-growth stands of ponderosa pine and quaking aspen both of which are uncommon in this part of Nevada. Ash, cottonwood, quaking aspen, and other riparian vegetation thrive along Cottonwood Creek, one of the longest pristine year-round streams in Southern Nevada. The Thule Desert encompasses the lowest elevations in the southern portion of the wilderness area with vegetation of sagebrush, joshua trees, and yucca. Mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, mountain lion, bobcat, badger, peregrine falcon, prairie falcon and golden eagle have been seen in the area. The lower regions of the area provide important habitat for kit fox and numerous species of reptiles. Sensitive species likely to be found in the wilderness area include the Pallid bat, California myotis, and banded Gila monster.
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 Clover Mountains Wilderness.
The Clover Mountains Wilderness is located in southern Lincoln County approximately twelve miles south of Caliente, Nevada in the western Clover Mountains.
Access to this wilderness area from Caliente, Nevada is State Highway 317 which will take you to the western boundary of the Clover Mountains 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.
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.
Hiking, camping, climbing and rock scrambling, as well as horseback riding are outstanding due to the variety of scenic topography, which creates numerous routes, trip lengths and challenges. Hunting for mule deer is good. The Clover Mountains are particularly inviting for hikers, hunters and horse packers. Very few impacts from humans are present, offering a rare opportunity to see undisturbed nature.
Cultural resources within the Clover Mountains Wilderness include petroglyphs, pictographs, and the remains of a historic cabin in the Cottonwood Creek drainage. Historical sites in the area include Kiernan Ranch and Post Office located on the boundary near the mouth of the Cottonwood Canyon, along with Bradshaw Ranch, approximately 3 miles east of Elgin.
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.