Bristlecone Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

Located in Nevada is 14,095 acres of land by the name of Bristlecone Wilderness. It is surrounded by both the northern Egan Mountains, as well as Heusser Mountain. The entire area is full of rolling hills, lush forests, streams, and unbelievable views. Depending on where you are in Bristlecone Wilderness, you will see a variety of geographical sights.
The main summit in the area is over 9,400 feet above sea level. This area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and has been for several years. If you're looking at taking the RV for a weekend getaway or you want to experience some relaxing primitive camping, Bristlecone Wilderness has that to offer and more.
Many people come from all over to enjoy hiking in the woods on one of the many trails. There is also a ton of different animals to see roaming around. One thing that makes this land stand out is that it is nearly impossible to tell that any humans have touched the area. This is partially thanks to the No Trace Left Behind policy that helps protect the land.

RV Rentals in Bristlecone Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

If you're coming from Ely, Nevada, you can get to Bristlecone Wilderness by taking US 93 north. If you're not coming from Ely, you'll also be able to take State Highway 499. While the majority of surrounding roads are paved and maintained, once you start getting closer to the entrance of Bristlecone Wilderness, it does turn into a dirt road.

There are plenty of brown road signs that lead the way straight to the wilderness. A lot of the roads leading to the wilderness are fairly straight. If you're coming from the northeast or east, you may experience some sharp curves and difficult travel for large vehicles like RVs and camper vans. From the southwest, there are a few challenging roads as well.

It may be in your best interest to check the local road conditions before heading out the door. This way you can know what to expect and not encounter a surprise detour along the way. Once you're at Bristlecone Wilderness, most of the transportation is done on foot. There are plenty of gravel trails and areas for you to explore.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Bristlecone Wilderness

Campsites in Bristlecone Wilderness

First-come first-served

Sacramento Pass BLM Campground

Pass is an excellent BLM Campground that offers just that. It is considered dry camping, meaning there are no hookups available for RVs. Speaking of RVs, there is a maximum length of 41 feet for RVs and trailers.
There are vault toilets available as well as picnic tables and grills at each campsite at Sacramento Pass Campground. Reservations are not necessary because each campsite is available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a beautiful pond with a deck that you can relax on when you're staying there. The roads around this campground are grave
The roads around this campground are gravel, but very well-maintained. There are less than ten campsites available, and there is no nightly rate. There's a max day of 14 days per month, and the campground sits at an elevation of 6,724 feet.

Upper Lehman Creek Campground

If you're looking to camp surrounded by stunning views of mountains, water, and valleys, then Upper Lehman Creek Campground may be an excellent option for you. Stunning mountains will surround you, and you'll be able to fall asleep to the soothing sound of Lehman's Creek. This campground is open from mid-April until October.
There are vaulted toilets, picnic tables, an amphitheater, and potable water during the summer months. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Upper Lehman Creek Campground does not take any reservations. There are tent, group, and RV campsites available that each have fire rings, grills, and picnic tables.
When visiting this campground, you can take part in several activities. Some of the most popular are birdwatching, hiking, biking, photography, and cave exploration. For campgrounds that don't cost you a penny, you sure get quite the experience at Upper Lehman Creek Campground.

Lower Lehman Creek Campground

Last but not least, there is Lower Lehman Creek Campground. As you could probably guess, this campground is located below Upper Lehman Creek, in the valley. It sits at an elevation of 7,300 feet above sea level, just 450 feet less than Upper Lehman Creek. This campground has 11 campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis for tents, RVs, and group campers.
Many of these campsites sit right on the edge of the creek, making it quite a relaxing area to catch some z's. This is considered dry camping, and there are no hookups available for RVs. With that being said, during the hot summer months, there may be potable water available.
Camping here will allow you to be tucked in a forest, away from other campers. It's a great way to relax in nature and enjoy the great outdoors. You can spend time soaking in the creek, hiking one of the many trails, or birdwatching during a nice summer day.

Seasonal activities in Bristlecone Wilderness

In-Season

Hiking

While there are plenty of hiking trails around Bristlecone Wilderness, Pine Forest Trail is the most popular. Taking this trail is easy enough for a casual stroll, as well as an intense, vigorous hike. It is made of gravel and goes through dense forests.

There are spots on this trail that allow you to see over the entire valley and enjoy breathtaking views. It is important to bring the proper hiking shoes when you're packing up the RV. If you enjoy nordic walking, bring a pair of hiking sticks as well!

Biking

Just like the hiking trails, there are a handful of amazing bike trails as well. This is a quicker way to see the beautiful views that surround you in Bristlecone Wilderness. Bike trails there range from beginner trails that are rather horizontal, to expert trails that have steep grades.

It is advised that you wear a helmet and other safety gear, as there is not a ranger or first-aid team on duty at Bristlecone Wilderness.

Sightseeing

Because Bristlecone Wilderness is so scenic, sightseeing is another one of the most popular activities visitors do when traveling there. Whether you walk around the valley, climb the mountains nearby, or just take a hike in the woods, you're bound to see some amazing sights.

There are also a plethora of plants and animals around. One of the best things about sightseeing in Bristlecone Wilderness is that you can actually tell that it looks like humans have never stepped foot there. It's beautiful in a very natural way.

Off-Season

Wildlife Viewing

Oftentimes, when people think of Nevada, they usually think of the desert or the bright lights of Las Vegas. Bristlecone Wilderness couldn't be more opposite. There are a variety of different wildlife creatures that you may see on your visit there. In the forests, you may see mountain lions, wolves, foxes, coyotes, and bobcats, and deer.

In the valley, you could see animals like ground squirrels, owls, sheep, and pronghorns. Near the water areas surrounding Bristlecone Wilderness, there are desert tortoises, geckos, horned toads, snakes, lizards, spiders, and scorpions.

Photography

Photography is a creative way to capture your travels to Bristlecone Wilderness. You can bring an expensive DSLR camera or you can just use the one built into your smartphone. There are several different areas that will make great photographs to bring home.

You can take photos of wildlife, the landscape, or the loved ones you travel with. If you're planning on visiting Bristlecone Wilderness with your family, this can be a great activity to do with children.

Water Activities

Within and surrounding Bristlecone Wilderness there are several different springs. Some of the more popular ones are Rattlesnake Spring, Luseth Spring, Sheep Spring, and Goat Spring. People enjoy relaxing in the springs to cool off on a hot summer day or relax after a long day outdoors. If you plan on taking a dip yourself, keep in mind that there are no lifeguards on duty and that you are swimming at your own risk.

Find the perfect campsite.