The 11-mile long Goshute Canyon Wilderness is a rugged, uplifted range, with massive white limestone cliffs jutting from its slopes. The lower elevations are thickly forested by pinyon pine and juniper, while scattered bristlecone and limber pine occur at the higher elevations. Aspens and cottonwoods in moist drainages provide a cool retreat. The large, high elevation Goshute Basin, rimmed by peaks, contains expanses of aspen and white fir and are filled with wild flowers in the spring and summer. Elevations within the Wilderness boundaries range from 6,000 to 10,410 feet.
Snowmelt and numerous springs provide riparian settings and water sources for a great number of wildlife species including Bonneville cutthroat trout in Goshute Creek, mule deer, mountain lions, bobcats, and various birds of prey.
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 Goshute Canyon Wilderness.
The Goshute Canyon Wilderness is located in the Cherry Creek Mountains in east-central Nevada within White Pine County. It is approximately 50 miles north of Ely, Nevada. A small portion of the Goshute Canyon Wilderness Study Area lies adjacent to the north, in Elko County. Access to the Goshute Canyon Wilderness from Ely is via Federal Highway 93 northbound approximately 50 miles; turn west onto State Route 489 towards the town of Cherry Creek. Turn north onto County road 25, this dirt road runs east of the eastern boundary of Goshute Canyon.
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.
There are outstanding opportunities for primitive forms of recreation in the Goshute Canyon Wilderness. Goshute Cave is an extensive limestone solution cave that offers excellent opportunities for caving and geological study. The cave is rich in formations and relatively well preserved with nearly 100 years of visitation.
Solitude is easy to find in this wilderness, in large part due to its remoteness and steep terrain, it does not receive much visitation. Additionally, you may find solitude in one of the drainages, just over another rock ledge or tucked into one of the forested slopes.
Other recreational activities include camping, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and hunting. See area management for regulations.
A long "cherrystem" route extends from the southwest corner of the wilderness far into Goshute Basin, providing motorized access to several primitive campsites.
Safety and Current Conditions
Contact the Ely District Office for current 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.