Wander through the Calico Mountains Wilderness and marvel at its unusually colorful rock formations, so unexpected in the greens and grays of the surrounding landscape. With views of the nearby Applegate-Lassen historic Emigrant Trail, this area allows you to experience the land much as the settlers of the 1850s did.
About the Calico Mountains Wilderness
The Calico Mountains Wilderness covers 64,984 acres, about 17 miles long and 7 miles wide. Distinguished by brightly colored, unusual twisted geology, this is an area sure to delight rock hounds, hikers, and solitude seekers alike.
In the southern half of the range, the bare rocks take on many hues of the rainbow, especially after a rain. Petrified Canyon and Mormon Dan Canyon are two notable examples of the colorful rock formations that abound within the range.
Elevations in this Wilderness range from 3,950 feet to 8,491 feet at Donnelly Peak, which, along with South Donnelly Peak, provides sweeping vistas of the area. The eastern side of the range is also within view of the historic Applegate-Lassen Trail.
Sagebrush is the most common vegetation in the landscape, with saltbush and greasewood occurring at the lower elevations. Several canyons contain cottonwoods, willow and aspen stands.
Hunting for deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, and chukar is popular in the area. Rugged dirt routes that form the boundaries of the Wilderness are excellent for four-wheel driving and mountain biking.
Calico Mountains Wildlife
- Mule Deer
- California Bighorn Sheep
- Pronghorn Antelope
- Mountain Lion
- Kit Fox
- American Badger
- Northern Pocket Gopher
- Burrowing Owl
- American Kestrel
- Prairie Falcon
- Golden Eagle
- Pygmy Short-horned lizard
- Western Fence Lizard
- Desert Wood Rat
- Northern Harrier
- Rough-legged Hawk
- Black-tailed Jackrabbit
How to Get to the Calico Mountains
The Calico Mountains Wilderness is located in western Humboldt and northern Pershing Counties, approximately 30 miles north of the town of Gerlach.
The best access to the Wilderness is located along the Soldier Meadows Road (Humboldt County Road 200) that forms the eastern boundary of the Wilderness.