Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (Sheldon) is in Northwestern Nevada. It is located off of SR 140 and is 68 miles from Lakeview, OR, 46 miles from Cedarville, CA and 100 miles from Winnemucca, NV.
Sheldon was set aside in the 1930s for the conservation of pronghorn antelope. Currently, the refuge protects more than half a million acres of habitat for pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and other wildlife. Habitat types include big and low sagebrush areas, mountain mahogany, and bitterbrush in the mountains above 6,000 feet. Other important types include alkaline lakes, marshes, grassy spring-fed meadows, greasewood flats, juniper covered uplands, and aspen stands in the more secluded canyon areas.
Within Sheldon is Thousand Creek Gorge, a dramatic, five-mile-long massive gash in the earth’s surface. Thousand Creek Gorge is located in the northeastern section of the refuge and has a scenic mix of creek, brush, and rock that is amplified by towering cliffs.
Animals you may see at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge include pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, mule deer, raptors, sage grouse, a variety of waterfowl, Lahontan cutthroat trout, Sheldon tui chub, as well as many small mammals and reptiles. And, although a wildlife refuge, Sheldon offers many other features of interest including old homesteads, fire opals and geothermal warm springs, just to name a few. You can fish, hunt and boat, with certain restrictions, or explore the area on foot by hiking and backpacking or on horse back. There are many ways to enjoy this breathtaking landscape.
As per the Fish and Wildlife Service's website, Camping is permitted only at designated camping areas. There is no fee for camping and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Virgin Valley campground is open year-round. There you will find pit toilets, picnic tables, drinking water, a warm springs pool and a rustic shower house. All other camps are primitive; none have potable water and some have pit toilets. Overnight backpacking is a great way to experience some of the more remote parts of the refuge. A backpacking permit is required for camping along the desert trail corridor and throughout the refuge. You are welcome to camp on the refuge for up to 14 days. Observe quiet hours between 10 pm and 6 am. Plan to pack out what you pack in. Garbage collection and septic dumping facilities are not provided on the refuge. Winter snows and muddy road conditions in the spring limit access to remote camps.The Royal Peacock private campground offers full hook-ups for a fee.
If you would like to see more pictures of Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and Thousand Creek Gorge please visit our Landscape Gallery and click on the appropriate link.
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