south jackson mountains wilderness

South Jackson Mountains

Love rock climbing and mountaineering? Then the South Jackson Mountains is the place for you. Boasting the nearly 9,000-foot King Lear Peak, this Wilderness offers incredible panoramic views that are yours to enjoy – shared with the occasional bighorn sheep, of course!

Wilderness Reference Map

View this map

About the South Jackson Mountains Wilderness

The 54,535-acre South Jackson Mountain Wilderness area runs about 15 miles long and from two to 11 miles wide. Together with the neighboring North Jackson Mountains, it was thought to have been an island when prehistoric Lake Lahontan covered much of the region.

Steep-sided, sharp-crested ridges and deep, v-shaped rocky canyons characterize the landscape, which is spotted with juniper, willow, cottonwood, and sagebrush.

A short cherry-stem road that leads to the mouth of McGill Canyon provides a great place to launch a hike up King Lear Peak, considered one of the best places for rock climbing and mountaineering in northwest Nevada. You can also access the peak from the wilderness boundary on the east side.

Shady cottonwood trees and water running through the canyons make the area a popular choice for visitors. Common activities include hunting for deer, antelope, bighorn, and chukar, as well as four-wheel driving and mountain biking along the dirt routes that form the Wilderness boundaries.

South Jackson Mountains Wildlife

  • Mule Deer
  • Pronghorn Antelope
  • Mountain Lion
  • Chukar
  • Sage Grouse
  • Painted Lady
  • California Bighorn Sheep
  • Green-tailed Towhee
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Violet Green Swallow
  • White-throated Swift
  • Western Kingbird
  • Bullock

How to Get to the South Jackson Mountains

The South Jackson Mountains Wilderness Area is located in western Humboldt County, 56 miles west of Winnemucca, Nevada.

Access to this Wilderness can be reached from Winnemucca by taking Jungo Road, Humboldt County Road 55, west 35 miles to Bottle Creek Road, County Road 330 and then north along Bottle Creek Road to Trout Creek Road, County Road 217.

The Wilderness can also be reached by taking Leonard Creek Road, County Road 214 or Bottle Creek Road south from Highway 140.