Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area
Guide

Introduction

An absolutely breathtaking area in Nevada that is a must-see is Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management. There you will find towering bluffs, rolling sagebrush, and incredible sunrises and sunsets. The area is popular for a plethora of outdoor activities. The most popular things that people visiting Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area enjoy is fishing and hunting. If you’re an outdoorsman, this is your paradise.

The area is full of largemouth bass and there’s enough room for everyone to enjoy an afternoon of hiking. Though Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area isn’t open year round, it’s well worth visiting during the summer. The closest city is Elko, Nevada. If you’re used to visiting this state and spending your time in the bright lights and loud sounds of the Las Vegas strip, this will be a great getaway from that.

Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area has the soundtrack of whistling birds, lapping water, and peaceful background noise that will make you never want to leave. The only bright lights in the area come from the vast amount of stars that can be seen during the evening. If you’re visiting in the winter, ice fishing is a popular activity. Though there isn’t a ton of campgrounds in the area, Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area allows you to camp at one of the 24 campsites available there.

RV Rentals in Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area

Transportation

Driving

The first thing to mention when it comes to transportation and Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area is that once the snow begins to fall, the roads are closed and there is no access to the area. It is located 83 miles northwest of a town called Elko, Nevada. All of the roadways around Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area are gravel and can get a bit bumpy at times. During rain or snow, the roads can become hard to navigate.

Be sure to check the forecast a couple of weeks before you hit the road. For this reason, you may want to drive a vehicle that has four-wheel drive. Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area is located at nearly 5,500 feet in elevation and it’s suggested to stop for 15 minutes around the 5,000 foot mark to give your body a chance to adjust. This decreases the chance of any elevation sickness.

State Route 226 is a gravel road that will lead you directly to the entrance of Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area and there are signs on the way. Once you’ve arrived, you can get around on foot or by watercraft.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area

Campsites in Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area

First-come first-served

Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area

You can make your trip a multi-day adventure by pitching a tent or parking the RV at Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area. There you will find a total of 24 campsites that all have picnic tables and fire rings for the camper’s convenience. These campsites don’t have reservations available and come at a first-come, first-served basis. There is easy access to vault toilets and water via a hand pump.

If you want to get out on the water while staying at Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area, there is an accessible boat ramp that will take your right onto Wilson Reservoir. There is also a fishing dock and picnic area there as well. Camping at Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area is reasonably priced and is open to both tent and RV campers. Many people who stay here enjoy fishing, hunting, and relaxing on the water. Plus, you don’t have to leave to explore the area during the day!

Jack Creek Campground

Jack Creek Campground is a beautiful place to stay when visiting Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area. It is open from the end of May until the beginning of November. There are six primitive campsites there surrounded by cottonwood. The six campsites are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Each campsite is furnished with a fire pit and picnic table.

There may not be running water or any other modern amenities, but Jack Creek Campground does have vault toilets. While the campground itself is open during the winter months, once the roads become covered with snow, they close down for the season. During the open season, it is lightly used and the Forest Service encouraged campers to take trash with them to help preserve the area. RV campers are welcome to stay here, but there aren’t hookups available and your rig must be less than 35 feet to camp here.

Big Bend Campground

The last campground that’s semi-close to Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area is Big Bend Campground. It is located in Owyhee, Nevada. This campground is great for both tent and RV campers. It’s important to note that there are no RV hookups and RVs and trailers must be 25 feet in length or less to camp at Big Bend Campground. There are 19 campsites in total, each of which is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are picnic tables and fire pits at all 19 campsites. Big Bend Campground has pit toilets available for camper’s convenience. Usage here is rather light, so you won’t have to worry about it ever being too crowded. Big Bend is open from late May until the end of November. This is a popular place for hunters to stay during hunting season. Fishing is a popular activity at the nearby Sunflower Reservoir.

Seasonal activities in Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area

In-Season

Hiking

If you’re looking to get your body moving, hiking is a fun activity that visitors of Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area enjoy. There are hiking trails throughout and there’s something for everyone, no matter your skill level. This is an awesome way to burn off a heavy lunch and see the beautiful landscape of Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area. Bring a pair of high-quality hiking boots to get the best experience out of your trip.

Water Activities

Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area is extremely popular for water activities. We all know how hot it can get in Nevada during the summer; it is a desert after all. On the reservoir, you can take watercraft like kayaks or canoes out and enjoy a beautiful summer day. You can also take a fishing boat out or take a dip in the water to cool off. It’s important to note that there aren’t any lifeguards on duty.

Hunting

The last peak season activity you can enjoy is hunting. Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area is known for having a plethora of hunters visit during hunting seasons. As long as you have the correct licenses and valid certification, the land is yours!

You may see bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, greater sage grouse, and mule deer. Be sure to clean up any shells or trash that comes from your hunting trip.

Off-Season

Wildlife Spotting

There are a ton of different wild animals in the area. Be sure to pack an animal book to know what you find and a pair of binoculars to increase your chances of seeing them up close.

The most commonly seen animals at Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area are wild horses, mountain lions, golden eagles, lizards, and even rattlesnakes. Remember to leave wild animals alone and to keep a safe distance.

Fishing

You’ll find a variety of fish in the reservoir. Trout can be nearly a foot and a half long! There are plenty of largemouth bass to catch as well. The best time to go fishing at Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area is between May and September. You can cast a reel from the shore, from a boat, or the fishing dock. The boat launch can be used for a couple bucks per day.

Picnicking

Whether you’re spending a long day hiking around Wilson Reservoir Recreation Management Area or you just want to relax while reading a book and enjoying a meal, picnicking is a great activity that you can enjoy during the off season. This is a laid back activity that everyone can enjoy. It’s important that you follow the No Trace Left Behind Act and clean up any trash or scraps from your meal.

Find the perfect campsite.