Located in eastern Nevada and spread over 123,488 acres of land, Meadow Valley Range Wilderness is a colorful place, with vivid foliage and vegetation covering most of its surface. The wilderness is made even more interesting with the presence of a number of rolling bajadas dotted with yucca, Joshua trees, and cholla.
The wilderness is also home to a number of deep canyons, intricately carved by mother nature and decorated with forests of pinyon pine and juniper trees. Adding magnificence to the wilderness is the boomerang-shaped Meadow Valley Range.
The landscape here is in the shape of jagged mountain peaks, and even so high up, the foliage of ponderosa pine keeps the mountains green and verdant. The height of these peaks ranges from 2,100 feet to 5,022 feet and every peak is unique in terms of vegetation, hidden historic treasures, and the spellbinding views from the top.
Part of the beauty of this wilderness is its remoteness, roughness, and ruggedness. The foliage is untamed and most parts of these lands have only ever been visited and seen by a handful of humans.
The novelty and rawness of this wilderness make it all the more exciting for adventurers and explorers to visit. There are only a few cherry stem roads in the wilderness and it is so remote that out of its many peaks, only a few are named. The most popular of these peaks is the volcanic Sunflower Peak.
Meadow Valley Range Wilderness is located 30 miles south of Alamo, Nevada and 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas on the east of federal highway 93 and north of US Highway 168. The entire east side of the Meadow Valley range is bordered by Meadow Valley wash.
Roads that provide access to the wilderness are all well-maintained and paved. Kate Springs Road will lead you directly to the north side of the wilderness, and Meadow Valley Road gives access to the southeast side of the wilderness. Even the minor roads that will lead you to the wilderness aren’t dirt roads and can be safely driven on. Drive slowly nonetheless to avoid collision with any wildlife.
You can experience the thrill and excitement of primitive camping at Meadow Valley Range Wilderness. Camping is allowed for up to 14-days. The Leave No Trace policy is to be observed and you cannot pick live vegetation for any purpose. For your campfire, you can use dead and down wood.
Pets are allowed in the wilderness as long as they are leashed, well behaved, and under the control of their owners. To help preserve and protect the land, make sure to camp at previously disturbed campsites.
The closest campground to Meadow Valley Range Wilderness is at a distance of an hour and a half and coincidentally also belongs to the Bureau of Land Management. Chief Mountain South Campground is located northwest of Zion National Park and offers amenities for both camping and picnicking.
The facilities at the campground include trash cans, pit toilets, restrooms, shade structures, picnic tables, and fire pits. This campground also provides quick access to the Silver State OHV Trail. There are six campsites at the campground where you can stay for a maximum of 14 days. Most of these sites are pull-through and can easily accommodate big rigs. The campground is at an elevation of 6,100 feet, so it tends to get cold at night.
There are so many spots in this wilderness that you can pretty much hike anywhere you want, trail or not. A large number of hikers aim towards the west end of the wilderness to head for the Grapevine Spring. Many other unmarked hiking trails lead to the east of the mountains to the Virgo and Hackberry canyons. Another pretty hike is the three-mile long White Hills trail that pretty much serves as the introduction to this spectacular wilderness.
Due to the variety of landscapes in this wilderness, a very impressive variety of raptors nest here. Birdwatchers will especially enjoy their stay in this wilderness catching sight of species such as Burrowing owl, red-tailed hawk, golden eagle, prairie falcon, Cooper’s hawk, ferruginous hawk, northern harrier, quail, merlin, American kestrel, and common ravens.
Meadow Valley Range Wilderness is blessed with various climates and has many different elevations, which makes it a suitable habitat for a number of different species.
At low elevation points of the wilderness, you’ll find desert banded gecko, desert tortoise, Clark mountain agave, banded Gila monster, white bear poppy, sidewinder, and long-nosed leopard lizards. In the canyons, species of carnivores such as coyotes, ringtail cats, kit foxes, and bobcats are spotted very frequently. At higher elevations, on the mountains, bighorn sheep, bobcats, mountain lions, and mule deer can be spotted patrolling the cliff sides.
Meadow Valley Range Wilderness is living proof that millions of years ago, people lived on this land. Now it is up to you to see how many petroglyphs, pictographs, and other prehistoric shreds of evidence you can find in this wilderness.
Stay on the lookout for milling sites, rock alignments, stone scrapers, arrowheads, shelter caves, petrified wood logs, and the likes for the chance to catch sight of something truly ancient.
While Sunflower Mountain is the most popular, Cathedral Peak with its 5,772 feet elevation is the highest. The peak receives little recognition, but that doesn’t change the fact that the huge rock is an impressive landmark.
It’s a fun scramble to the rock and the climb to the summit is only classified as a class 3 climb, which requires little rock climbing experience. The mountain with its solid ledges and gentle slopes makes for a relatively easy hike up to the summit.