Chief Mountain South in Caliente, Nevada is a recreation site and a trailhead for the Silver State OHV Trail. This recreation site comes with many amenities to make sure campers and OHV enthusiasts have the best time here and take home some truly awesome memories.
Off-highway vehicle riders aren’t the only ones who make Chief Mountain South their abode for a few days. Hunters, ranchers, hikers, and firewood gatherers also make use of the campsite for its easy access into the wilderness and the Silver State OHV Trail.
The Silver State OHV Trail was developed and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, along with the assistance of public citizens, and it is one of the first congressionally designated OHV trails in the States. The best thing about this trail is that it is not just for the extreme OHV lovers; intermediate riders and entire families can enjoy this trail and all it has to offer.
The recreation site offers campsites, restrooms, picnic tables and shaded areas for tent and RV camping lovers.
Caliente is the nearest town to Chief Mountain South and is also the site for the BLM office in the region. From Caliente, travel west on Highway 9 for nearly nine miles until you can take the right turn onto the Silver State OHV Trail and onto the dirt road. Driving for about half a mile will lead towards the Chief Mountain South Trailhead. There is also a riding practice area here.
You will also see a sign on Highway 93 indicating the turn but you’ll need to slow down to catch that or you might just miss it. The entrance to the trailhead has a smooth road that is well-maintained and in good condition. Even though it is a dirt road, it makes for an easy and comfortable ride.
Chief Mountain South is a dry camping campground and one of the trailheads for all those who are in the area to take on the Silver State OHV Trails. The campground boasts six campsites for tents and RVs − mostly pull-through − and you can set up camp for 14 days. The main purpose of this BLM campground is to provide easy access to the Silver State OHV trails. However, it is perfectly situated at a spot where it is far enough from the road to muffle all the traffic noise and gives you a peaceful camping experience.
There is also enough space at each campsite to easily accommodate big rigs for RV campers. The campground does come with several facilities such as trash cans, pit toilets, fire rings, and covered picnic tables. The campground is at the elevation of 6100 ft. It gets quite chilly at night so pack appropriately. Cell phone signals can also be found here, which is a good thing considering Silver State OHV Trails is very large and one can easily get turned around.
Even though Silver State Trail doesn’t have a hiking trail, the Chief Mountain South is surrounded by a few designated wilderness areas including the Big Rocks Wilderness. These wildernesses are open to hiking and walking and completely free from all forms of mechanized and motorized equipment. It’s a great place for solitude. These places are undisturbed by people, and you can take a day-hiking trip there while you leave your camp at Chief Mountain South.
The Silver State Trail is a network of over a hundred miles of off-road trails in Nevada that can take you to places you’ve never seen. Some of the most remarkable backcountry in Nevada can be accessed through this trail.
You can bring your dirt bike, quad, or any off-road vehicle and whoosh past the deserts and mountain landscape; scattered with Joshua trees and pinyon pines. This designated OHV trail is perfect for scenic tours and long-distance rides. Intermediate riders can easily handle this trail as well.
Chief Mountain South is surrounded by steep slopes and low-lying valleys that offer the ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife species to not only survive but thrive. While hiking or off-roading on the trails, you are likely to come across many animals of the Great Basin region of Nevada.
Wildlife that has adapted to this extreme environment includes elk, mule deer, and antelope amongst many others. Up above, golden eagles are seen taking flight in huge numbers. Respect the habitat of this wildlife by staying on the road and observing them from afar.
Chief Mountain South is a great place to just relax and have a picnic in solitude. The facilities here include picnic tables with shades, BBQ grills and vault toilets that give you the creature comforts needed to thoroughly enjoy a desert picnicking experience amidst striking landscape and terrain.
Other amenities for picnickers include restrooms and fire pits. If you feel like you have relaxed enough, you can always enjoy a ride at the OHV trail.
The only forms of human interaction along the trails are remnants of old mines. This region has been subjected to ranching and mining for hundreds of years and it continues to this day. Riding along the Silver State OHV trail you’ll cross many gates and mine shafts. There might be many active areas, so you need to do your part and close all the gates behind and steer clear of the mining areas that seem hazardous and can often have deep shafts.
Riddled all along the trails are old tools, buildings, drawings, petroglyphs, and even gravestones that offer plenty to take in and ponder over as you continue onwards exploring this vast wilderness region.
Any artifacts or structures that you may see on the route are not to be touched or damaged in any way. Stay clear of the site, but you can take plenty of pictures and try to connect these jigsaw puzzle pieces from history.