If you wish to experience the spectacular outdoor scenery of Nevada and witness its characteristic beauty, then you need to head to the Silver State OHV Trail.
A trip to the desert wilderness of Nevada doesn’t have to be uncomfortable because the Bureau of Land Management provides a homely and comfortable Patterson Pass recreation area site that has a campground connecting to one of the trailheads. This trailhead is believed to give access to the best section of the Silver State OHV Trail.
Activities here are endless and you can enjoy a memorable family mini-vacation without spending much on your part. Patterson Pass is located near the OHV trail but still far enough to muffle the road noise and keep you relatively undisturbed.
Patterson Pass also enjoys the spectacular natural landscape unique to Nevada and a chilly atmosphere, especially at night, for being at a high elevation. Throughout your trip, you’ll see scattered pinyon and juniper trees and rocky rugged terrain.
Patterson Pass is situated a little over 50 miles from the nearest town of Pioche, Nevada. From Pioche, grab the US Highway 93 and stay on it for about 47 miles, until you reach the Patterson Pass Road. Take a left on Patterson Pass Road, or at the Silver State OHV Trail sign and drive for a mile until you see the sign indicating the entrance to the Patterson Pass trailhead and campground.
After the highway, the Silver State OHV Trail road is dirt but very well maintained, so you won’t have any trouble driving your big rigs on it. Just make sure to bring plenty of water as you won’t find any drinking water in the region.
Patterson Pass is one of the many BLM trailheads found amidst the larger system of the Silver State OHV Trails. This one accommodates campers with ten campsites that have gravel pads. Some of the sites are pull-through. These sites can be used by both RV campers as well as tent campers.
All the sites are well-spaced, offering privacy to campers via a thick wall of vegetation and foliage found between each site. Each campsite also comes with a picnic table with proper shade, BBQ grill, and fire pits. There are clean and well-maintained restrooms and trash cans at the campground to make your stay pleasantly comfortable.
The maximum number of days you can stay at this campground is 14. The campsites are acquired on a first-come, first-served basis. If you find the campsites all filled up during the season, just move ahead on the trail and you’ll find another BLM campground and trailhead with similar facilities. The campground is situated at a 6150-ft of elevation, so it gets pleasantly cold here.
One of the main reasons for your stay at Patterson Pass has to be the iconic off-road vehicle trail nearby. The Silver State OHV Trail is the first congressionally designated OHV trail in the United States. The trail is long and covers expansive regions of Lincoln County, Dry Lake Valleys, and Bristol among many others. In addition, Chief Mountain is known for its advanced riding trails with an entire system of easy, moderate, and challenging trails to take on.
Luckily for campers at Patterson Pass, OHVs aren’t the only thrill-seeking activity one can enjoy. Albeit a little farther up than the Silver State OHV Trail, Patterson Pass also happens to be close to Nevada’s mountain bike mecca, Barnes Canyon Mountain Bike Trails.
This 12-mile singletrack trail is for people of all skill levels; with fast and flowing terrain that sometimes gets rocky and technical. Hardcore dirt bikers can even choose the high skill level loop trail that lies higher up on the canyon rim to really test their skills and get that blood pumping.
Patterson Pass is surrounded by wilderness and is situated on the unpopulated and largely remote Nevada landscape, which means it is home to plentiful wildlife. While camping, picnicking, and OHV riding, you might come face to face with an antelope or an elk or perhaps even a mule deer.
Don’t be surprised when you see golden eagles perched high above on the trees and rocky outcroppings. Do not disturb or bother this wildlife and observe them from afar. Remember, you are on their territory and you need to respect that.
You don’t always need to put yourself through physical exertion to enjoy the surroundings of Patterson Pass. The Bureau of Land Management provides shaded picnic tables, barbeque grills, fire pits, and restrooms for you to relax and enjoy a memorable and comfortable picnic here in this rugged wilderness. Breathing in the fresh and non-polluted air and looking at the magnificent scenery certainly makes for a refreshing picnicking experience.
Don’t just drive past everything when you are on the OHV trail and take your time observing your surroundings. This trail has been used by people for thousands of years. If you are observant then you might be able to catch signs of people who passed through this place, stood here, and left a mark in history in their own way. Explore the trails for these signs in the form of old buildings, gravestones, markings, and drawings.
There are plenty of photography opportunities found at Patterson Pass. First, there’s the magnificent rocky and hilly landscape with its dotted vegetation. Then there’s the wildlife in action that you can forever freeze in your frames. The best photography opportunity is found in the form of cultural and historic marks found here. If you are a really good explorer, you might come across something that hasn’t been seen by anyone before, let alone photographed.