Worthington Mountain rises like a ship, 4,000 rugged feet above dry valleys of central Nevada to almost 9,000 feet. The extremely severe limestone backbone of the mountain presents a difficult challenge to visitors with heavily dissected, maze-like canyons, precipitous cliffs, knifelike limestone surfaces, and no surface water. Those who persist will be rewarded by endless vistas, natural arches, ancient forest (the oldest tree dated at 2,100 years), and limestone caves, the largest being Leviathan. Wildlife species inhabiting this Wilderness area include mountain lions, bobcats, deer, desert bighorn sheep, kit foxes, coyotes and raptors, as well as smaller common mammal and reptile species. Forest cover in the mountains vary from sparse to dense stands of juniper and pinyon pine at lower elevations while ponderosa, limber and bristlecone pines cling to the jagged peaks. The Worthington Mountains feature a divergent flora from the curious combination Great Basin/Sonoran desert including cholla and cactus of the valley through pinyon - juniper, Limber and Ponderosa Pine, to the Bristlecone Pine of the craggy 9,000 foot summit ridge. Worthington Mountains wonderfully expresses the Wilderness characteristics of stark beauty, chaotic topography, and remoteness of Nevada wildlands.
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 Worthington Mountains Wilderness.
The Worthington Mountains Wilderness is located in a remote part of the Ely District within Lincoln County in east-central Nevada. The nearest paved highway is about 15 miles to the south, and the nearest incorporated town is Alamo, 38 miles southeast.
Access to this wilderness from Hiko, Nevada is achieved via state highway 375 northwest towards Rachel. Approximately 1.5 miles before Rachel take a right on an unnamed county road for 18 miles northbound.
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 immense scenery of the area, natural arches, caves, and vistas from the ridgeline of Worthington steep-walled rock canyons that drop away from the top of the ridgeline provide an amazing backdrop for nature study, technical rock climbing, rock scrambling, hiking, backpacking, and camping. The spelunking opportunities in Leviathan Cave are extraordinary with its huge entrance (100x180), cave formations, enormous chambers, narrow constricted passageways, and large ice formations during winter and spring months.
Safety and Current Conditions
Contact Bureau of Land Management 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.