Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails

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Bureau of Land Management

Bureau of Land Management Symbol Artwork symbolizing the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Canyon BLACK ROCK DESERT-HIGH ROCK CANYON EMIGRANT TRAILS NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA Home


Land Use Planning

Resource Management Plan

Welcome to the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area and Associated Wilderness Areas “Black Rock – High Rock”

Bruff's 1849 Drawing of Beginning of the Applegate Trail

On December 21, 2000, the President signed the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area Act of 2000, which was enacted by Congress to create special designations for 1.2 million acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in northwestern Nevada. The Act designates 815,000 acres as a National Conservation Area (NCA), and within the NCA there are nearly 380,000 acres that are designated “Wilderness.” There are also about 375,000 acres designated Wilderness outside of the NCA, bringing the entire area (NCA and Wildernesses) to approximately 1.2 million acres.

NCA and Wilderness designation for these areas will ensure that one of the last nationally-significant segments of the historic California emigrant trails along with the surrounding Black Rock Desert, High Rock Canyon and other prominent national resources will be protected.

Homestead Site in High Rock area

The Act directed BLM to develop a Resource Management Plan (RMP for the long-term protection and management of the conservation area . As part of that effort, the BLM developed an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The RMP and EIS were completed in 2004 following an extensive public participation process. The RMP as well as the Final EIS can be viewed by clicking on the RMP and Land Use Planning Links in the menu on the left.

Balsam root in bloom

This website is your source of information for participating in the planning process. Here you will find information on the NCA, including the legislation that established the NCA and wilderness, the RMP, ongoing projects, maps, historic trail information, meeting announcements, and other materials. You can also use this website to contact us for additional information.

The management of the NCA and wilderness depends on continued public participation. Please tour this site and join us as we develop management actions for the long-term protection and enjoyment of this precious national resource.

Buckaroos at the chuckwagon

The Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area and associated Wilderness Areas are jointly managed by the Winnemucca, NV and Surprise (Cedarville), CA Field Offices. Portions of the NCA staff are located in each office. The NCA Manager is located in Winnemucca.


Friends of Black Rock High Rock, Gerlach Nevada (775) 557-2900

BLM Winnemucca Field Office: (775) 623-1500

BLM Surprise Field Office: (530) 279-6101