Goshute Canyon Wilderness is made up of 42,544 acres. The wilderness is nestled in the Cherry Creek Mountains not far from the small city of Ely in eastern Nevada. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, this wilderness is little-known, making it easy for visitors to find a serene, secluded spot for camping, picnicking, or simply enjoying the scenery. Many recreational opportunities await Goshute Canyon visitors, including hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, fishing, and hunting.
The elevations at Goshute Canyon Wilderness range from 6,000 feet to over 10,000 feet. The ridgeline consists of limestone cliffs and plenty of juniper and pinyon pine. The lower elevations have forests of aspen and white fir. During the spring months, many colorful wildflowers bloom through the wilderness area.
Goshute Cave is a popular destination within the wilderness. Here, visitors can venture into the cave’s tunnels to explore and view the unique limestone formations.
Primitive, dispersed campsites are located off wilderness boundary roads. The campsites are first-come, first-served, and do not have any amenities. The boundary roads are dirt. Those with RVs or travel trailers should use caution when driving. The roads can be bumpy and after rainfall, can become muddy and slick.
Goshute Canyon Wilderness is located in White Pine County in eastern Nevada. The wilderness is within the Cherry Creek Mountains. Goshute Canyon is about 50 miles away from the city of Ely. This small city is a great spot to stock up on fuel, water, and any other needed supplies before continuing on the drive to the wilderness.
To reach Goshute Canyon Wilderness from Ely, take US 93 to NV 489. From there, turn down County Road 25. The county road is a graded dirt road that will lead to the wilderness boundary. The roads which serve as wilderness boundaries are all dirt. Motorized vehicles are not permitted within the wilderness. Vehicles will need to park along the boundary roads and walk into the wilderness area.
Visitors will find plenty of opportunities for primitive camping on this BLM property. Many primitive campsites can be found off of a dirt road that cherry stems from the southwest end of the wilderness. Those with RVs should be able to access the primitive campsites though drivers should take caution while navigating the dirt roads. Visitors can check with the BLM office for road conditions before their trip.
About 50 miles away in Ely, Nevada is the Ely KOA Journey. The KOA is a great option for those looking to enjoy modern amenities, but be close to Goshute Canyon Wilderness and other attractions such as ghost towns, Great Basin National Park, and Cave Lake State Park. Big rigs can easily be accommodated as well as tents for any tent campers that may be in your group. The maximum pull-through site length is 90 feet.
The RV sites offered at the KOA range from 15, 20, and 50-amp electricity. Some RV sites have full hookups while others have water and electric only. Those without a sewer connection can use the dump station located on-site. Some shade is provided by shade trees scattered throughout the campground. Those looking to explore the KOA and surrounding area can head down one of the hiking and ATV trails. Additional amenities include a dog park, WiFi, and laundry facilities.
Goshute Canyon Wilderness is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Dispersed camping is permitted for up to 14 consecutive days. Many established campsites can be found off of a dirt road that cherry stems from the southwest side of the wilderness. Since the road is a wilderness boundary, vehicles are permitted including RVs and travel trailers.
Many of the campsites are sheltered by cottonwood and willow trees near the Goshute and Carry Creeks. Once settled in at a campsite, anglers can take their fishing gear to the banks of the creek and fish for trout. Visitors can also venture off on foot to hike along the canyon’s ridges or head into Goshute Cave. Camping at Goshute Canyon Wilderness is primitive with no amenities. Campers should come with enough supplies for the duration of their trip unless they want to make the long drive back to Ely.
On the east side of Goshute Canyon is Goshute Cave. People have been visiting and exploring the cave for about 100 years, yet it remains mostly undisturbed.
The cave consists of several limestone tunnels connecting large rooms. Many formations awe cave visitors and the limestone within Goshute Canyon Wilderness indicates there may be undiscovered caves. The cave is easy to navigate making it enjoyable to all, even those new to caving.
Goshute Canyon Wilderness doesn’t have maintained trails, yet it provides many hiking opportunities. With elevations that range from 6,000 to over 10,000 feet, both beginner and advanced hikers will find a hike perfect for their skill level.
From higher elevations, clear views of the Ruby Mountains can be enjoyed from over 50 miles away! Hikers will most certainly want to make their way over to Goshute Cave at the east end of the canyon to explore the tunnels and see the many limestone formations.
Goshute Canyon Wilderness provides a beautiful backdrop for a picnic throughout the year. Hike into the wilderness from the boundary to find a spot among the forest of aspen and white fir or juniper and pinyon pine if making the hike to a higher elevation.
During the spring months, colorful wildflowers fill the Goshute Canyon landscape. Keep in mind that the wilderness is a primitive facility. Be sure to take all food and trash with you when you leave.
Fishing, along with non-commercial hunting and trapping, is permitted within the wilderness. Anglers are unlikely to leave without a catch with so many trout in the creeks and streams. Hunters come to Goshute Canyon for mule deer, mountain lion, and grouse.
Hunting and fishing regulations are managed and enforced by the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Check for permit and license requirements prior to your hunt at Goshute Canyon.
There are no maintained trails within the wilderness, but equestrians are welcome at Goshute Canyon Wilderness. Equestrians will need to park outside the wilderness boundary with their trailer. From there, the wilderness can be accessed on horseback.
Riders can explore the ridges and vistas throughout the canyon, past streams and various types of vegetation. Visitors will need to bring plenty of water as well as weed-free feed for their horses.
The varying terrain and climate at Goshute Canyon Wilderness make it a habitat for many types of wildlife. An abundance of trout thrives in Goshute Creek and the wilderness area’s many other springs. Mule deer may be seen in the mornings and evenings near the trees or streams.
Hawks, eagles, and other various birds fly high above in the sky. Mountain lions and bobcats also roam the land, so hikers and campers should ensure they follow wildlife safety measures.