Description - Mountain City Ranger District is located towards northeastern Nevada. The area has perhaps some of the most diverse plant and bird life communities that can be found in Northern Nevada. Thus the area is a haven for bird enthusiasts. Moreover opportunities exist for packing with Llamas, horses and or goats. Other activities available to the district are camping, fishing, hunting and winter activities.
- Bird Watching: The Mountain City Ranger District has perhaps some of the most diverse plant and bird life communities that can be found in Northern Nevada. Some of the more interesting places to go to watch bird life are in aspen, mountain mahogany, sub alpine fir and stream/willow communities.
Aspen are a relatively common plant community found scattered throughout the district. Good bird watching opportunities can be found at Big Bend Campground and also just over waterlog summit from the campground into Meadow Creek. Some of the birds you any see are: yellow-bellied sapsucker, downy woodpecker, flycatchers, warbling vireo, yellow-rumped warbler, fox sparrow, black-chinned hummingbird, and rufous-sided towhee.
Mountain mahogany is a unique plant community found just west of Big Bend Campground. if you are watching for birds in these areas, you nay see: black-headed grosbeak, common bushtit, dusky flycatcher, hermit thrush, kestrel, Townsend's solitaire, or a western tanager.
Sub alpine fir communities are found at higher elevations on the district. Good sub alpine fir stands can be found on the north side of Merritt Mountain, Copper Basin, and Bull Run Mountains. Birds you may see include white-crowned sparrow, McGillivary's warbler, Swainson's thrush, western wood peewee, Cassin's finch, northern orioles or a ruby-crowned kinglet.
Good riparian areas to observe birds is in the North Fork of the Humboldt River, Gance Creek, Meadow Creek and the Bruneau River. Some birds you may see include bank swallow, belted kingfisher, American dipper, lazuli bunting, yellowthroat or a plain titmouse.
Camping: The Forest campgrounds vary in scenic atmosphere and types of facilities. Most are wooded but types and density of vegetation vary. undeveloped sites offer quite seclusion but have rather primitive facilities or none at all.
Fees for camping are determined by the services provided in the campground. Most undeveloped areas within the Forest are open to camping. There is a posted camping limit of 14 days in campgrounds, other Forest areas have a 16 day camping limit. Since some areas do not have garbage service,bring garbage bags for your refuse.
Cultural Resources: The archaeological and historical resources of the Mountain City Ranger District reflect a mosaic of cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic themes.
Packing with Llamas: As the use of llamas on public land increases, people who pack llamas need to know more about a number of concepts that will lead to safe, enjoyable backcountry experiences, while minimizing damage to our valued natural resources.
Hunting and Fishing: The Mountain City Ranger District provides numerous opportunities for both hunters and fishermen. Big game hunting on the district is primarily for mule deer. This area is known for producing record size mule deer with antler spreads in the 30-36" range. Particularly good hunting areas for mule deer include Wildhorse, Merritt, Tennessee, and Copper Mountains. Wildhorse and Tennessee Mountains provide more remote hunting opportunities while the remaining areas experience heavier hunting pressures. The district also sports a small, but growing antelope herd, as well as a large mountain lion population. Hunting licenses for these game animals are awarded on a draw system and applications can be obtained from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Winter Activities: Snowmobiling: Depending on snow conditions on the Mountain City Range District snowmobiling opportunities are widespread. Sunflower Flat is a favorite play area due to its open rolling hills and proximity to state highway 225. Most areas of the Forest are open to use with the majority of use occurring on roads.
Cross-county Skiing: Numerous cross-county skiing opportunities are available on the District. most roads off of the main highway are not plowed during the winter. Locations with good potential for cross-county skiing would be the North Fork and Maggie Summit areas. In addition most areas of the District are open to cross-county skiing. If skiing around the Big Springs mines, people should be aware of the mining activities and risks associated with it and we would encourage you to stop in the Mountain City District office for information about the area.
Recreation - Facilities in this region include, wildlife viewing, bird watching, scenic viewing, camping, packing with goats, horses and llamas, fishing, hunting, wilderness, winter activities and walking.
Climate - Summer temperatures range in the high 90's while winter temperatures occasionally drop to -20 degrees. Daily temperature fluctuations of 50 degrees are not uncommon. Winters are moderate, with heavy snow in the mountains and rain or light snow in the valleys. Precipitation occurs mainly during winter and spring months.
Visitors should come prepared for extreme changes in temperature and weather by brining appropriate clothing for snow, rain, cold and heat, particularly in trips through mountainous areas.
The Mountain City Ranger District is located towards northeast Nevada. The area is served by highways 93 and 95.