South Jackson Mountains Wilderness
Guide

Introduction

From the overshadowing presence of the roughly 9,000-foot high King Lear Peak to the rugged canyons of cottonwoods and juniper woodlands, South Jackson Mountains Wilderness is a special place for camping, outdoor recreation, and relaxation. This 85 square mile Bureau of Land Management property, located 56 miles west of Winnemucca, Nevada, is an easily accessible park that provides lots of primitive experiences to visitors and campers.

Things to do at this BLM wilderness include hiking and backpacking, nature study, rock climbing, hunting, and horseback riding. Other ways to feel alive here include cross-country skiing, photography, and simply enjoying the glorious views on offer. The Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area is a nearby destination for additional recreational opportunities. Visitors that feel up to it can take their adventure further north to the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge.

There are no services or facilities provided within this BLM wilderness. So, only primitive camping opportunities are available to visitors. Come adequately equipped for your dry camping experience. For travelers who want to camp in their RV, motorhome, or trailer, these types of camping opportunities are available outside the wilderness.

RV Rentals in South Jackson Mountains Wilderness

Transportation

Driving

The South Jackson Mountains Wilderness lies a little over 50 miles west of Winnemucca, in western Humboldt County, Nevada. There are a number of access points to this BLM wilderness, either via Leonard Creek Road, County Road 214, or Bottle Creek Road south of Highway 140. The best access to the wilderness is however along the Jackson Creek Road, which is a maintained road that lies on the western boundary. Access from the eastern boundary is best through Trout Creek Road.

At the South Jackson Mountains Wilderness, the use of motorized vehicles is prohibited, like most wilderness areas. As you approach the park, obey posted signs and park just outside the BLM property's boundaries. Navigation within the wilderness is done by walking, biking, or horseback riding.

There are no direct public transportation services to this BLM property in Nevada.

For visitors who wish to use RVs and trailers for developed camping, rental equipment is available at Winnemucca and Gerlach.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in South Jackson Mountains Wilderness

Campsites in South Jackson Mountains Wilderness

First-come first-served

Soldier Meadows Campground

Soldier Meadows Campground is a pet-friendly campground within the Soldier Meadows Hot Spring Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) at Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails NCA. This campground consists of semi-primitive camping facilities such as fire pits, parking areas, and a vault toilet. A primitive cabin is also available.

There are seven defined campsites within this campground, most of which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Because of the frequency of visits at this campground, it is not recommended for campers seeking solitude.

Alternate camping

Stevens Camp

Stevens Camp is a BLM campground located at the north end of the High Rock Canyon Wilderness, about 11 miles east of Nevada Highway 8A.
Four established camping areas are available at Stevens Camp, including a large site. Amenities here include picnic tables, a vault toilet, fire pits, and grills. A free use cabin is also available on a first-come, first-served basis with amenities such as running water, hot showers, wood stove, and generator hookups.

Some of the recreational opportunities in the campground include photography, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, hunting, and biking.

Seasonal activities in South Jackson Mountains Wilderness

Off-Season

Hunting

South Jackson Mountains Wilderness is a premier destination for hunting due to the abundant wildlife and the untouched wilderness. Visitors who would like to hunt within the wilderness must possess a valid hunting license and abide by the hunting regulations in effect.

The use of hunting blinds is allowed, as long as they are temporary, and you remove them when you leave the property. No vegetation can be cut to construct a blind.

Driving Tours

Driving is a popular activity around the South Jackson Mountains Wilderness. Although the use of vehicles is not allowed within the wilderness, more than 800 miles of roads are open to motorized use in the nearby Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area.

Vacationers in the wilderness areas that surround this NCA are always keen on driving around on the scenic routes that are to enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Every driver is expected to respect the BLM wilderness boundaries and avoid encroaching.

Sightseeing

The South Jackson Mountains Wilderness is a paradise for sightseers and outdoor lovers. Visitors are greeted from the entrance of the park by the beautifully laid out vegetation and natural elements that characterize the park. The exceptional scenic quality provided by the groves of aspen along the mountain streams, the stands of Utah juniper, and the commanding presence of King Lear Peak are just some of the things to observe in the wilderness.

When you're hiking around the BLM property, incredible vistas and views are available in all directions from the peaks in the wilderness. Don't leave home without your camera.

In-Season

Hiking

At the South Jackson Mountains Wilderness, there are several excellent hiking opportunities available in different areas for visitors and campers to enjoy. The west-facing side of the wilderness features lots of exciting and rugged canyons that hikers can explore to the top of the 8,923 foot high King Lear Peak.

It’s easy to access all these canyons from the lower elevations in the wilderness, particularly around the western boundary. Rock scrambling and technical climbing are added fun activities that determined hikers enjoy en route the Peak’s summit.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife enthusiasts have plenty of opportunities to pursue their interests at the South Jackson Mountains Wilderness. It's not uncommon for visitors to come across wildlife such as mule deer, mountain lion, pronghorn antelope, sage grouse, and chukar when hiking along the non-designated trails in the park.

Other wildlife and birds within the wilderness area that may catch the eye of the keen observer include California bighorn sheep, mountain bluebird, western kingbird, bullock, and green-tailed towhee.

Flora

In terms of appearance, the South Jackson Mountains Wilderness is a beautifully decorated BLM area that features well-positioned landscapes offering the perfect scenery for nature lovers and flora enthusiasts.

The landscapes are made up of steep-sided and sharp-crested ridges, as well as deep, V-shaped canyons. The grounds have vegetation of willow, juniper, sagebrush, and cottonwood. The shady cottonwood trees in the wilderness and the water that runs through the canyon make it a popular destination for avid hikers.

Find the perfect campsite.