The Calico Mountains are a range in north western Nevada that runs along the west edge of west arm of the Black Rock Desert. The range is part of the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon-Emigrant Trail National Conservation Area and is approximately 30 miles north west of Gerlach off of Soldier Meadows Rd (CR 200). You can also access the range from Hwy 34 and Barly Rd. There is a road that goes over the top of the range connecting Hwy 34 to Soldier Meadows Rd, but be warned, it is a pretty rough road and a high clearance 4 wheel drive is highly recommended.
The south end of the range is what gives the range its name, containing colorful geologic formations. The highest point in the Calicos is Donnelly Peak, also shown on some maps as Division Peak. The range has two wilderness areas, the Calico Mountains Wilderness and the High Rock Lake Wilderness. The road that crosses the range separates the two wilderness areas. The Calico Mountain Wilderness contains Donnelly Peak and the colorful calico formations. High Rock Lake Wilderness contains High Rock Lake, which typically is dry—do not count on there being water in the lake—however, the lake occasionally fills with run-off from both High Rock and Little High Rock Canyons.
Sagebrush is the dominant vegetation type, with saltbush and greasewood occurring at the lower elevations. The moist canyons also contain willows and other riparian species. Some wildlife that you might see while visiting the area are mule deer, California bighorn sheep, pronghorn, mountain lion, kit fox, coyote, and sage grouse, among many others.
Click here to see more photos of the Calico Range.
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