Black Rock-High Rock Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area

Spectacular scenic opportunities abound in one of the largest and flattest alkaline playas in the United States. The Playa is a now-dry remnant of ancient Lake Lahontan; it is 44 miles long (oriented north-south), and averages 7 miles in width. Opportunities for solitude are considerable. A variety of interesting geologic features dominate the landscape. The near-pristine Applegate-Lassen section of the California National Historic Trail traverses the Playa.



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The Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon NCA hosts a multitude of recreational opportunities within its 800,000 acres. It encompasses nearly 120 miles of emigrant trails, the Black Rock Desert, and High Rock Canyon. The most popular attractions are the Black Rock Desert playa, the narrow gorge of High Rock Canyon, the natural hot springs, and historic wagon trails. The majority of trails in the NCA are unimproved and not designated by trail signs.Good maps are needed.Do not rely on a GPS that runs on batteries.

The area is remote, without paved roads, cell coverage, services, or residents.If you break down or get lost it could be several days before someone finds you!Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to get back. Cell phones do not work in most of the area. Satellite phones work for short conversations.Amateur radio is dependent on the proximity of repeaters and there are very few in the area.

No natural source of water is safe for drinking without treatment. Hot springs are hazardous and some are deadly.Stay out and stay alive.

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Courtesy S. Ward – Lonely highways and byways