The Dirt: Schell Mountains Trail Systems



The South Schell Creek Range has a few trail options departing from Cave Lake State Park. Terrain is rocky natural surface rolling hills with sage brush steppe, Juniper, and approximately 7000 ft elevation. Sheep and Cattle grazing activities are common in meadows and range sites so keep an eye out for livestock and guard animals. The Cave Mountain Summit trail climbs to ~10,700 ft and offers 360 views into Spring Valley to the East, Commins Meadow to the West, and Great Basin National Park to the Southeast.

Access to the North Schell Range, Wilderness areas, and the Ranger Trail is available by taking the Success Summit loop to the North.

The trails North of Success Summit outside Cave Lake State Park offer opportunities for solitude, excellent hunting areas, and access to Spring Valley over the Kalamazoo Summit. The North Schell Creek trail system includes the Ranger Trail, a purpose-built OHV route that travels along the wilderness boundary. The Ranger trail is dotted with Forest Service Campgrounds open seasonally depending on snow levels.

Trails are mostly Natural Surface and are inaccessible by UTV during winter months. Opportunities for Snowmobiles exist outside wilderness boundaries in winter months.


Cave Lake State Park is located 8 miles south of Ely, Nevada along Hwy 50.
Staging and Camping options are available at Cave Lake State Park which hosts restrooms, showers, Water and multiple recreation opportunities.
The 41 mile long Ranger Trail begins at Berry Creek and ends at Ranger Road.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: USFS

825 Avenue E

Ely, Nevada 89301

Telephone: (775) 289-3031

Enjoy the Mt. Moriah Trail System by staying on existing trails and admiring resources without touching them. Take out everything you brought with you. Be considerate of all other trail users. Always wear protective safety gear, and never operate an OHV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Outdoor Ethics / Leave No Trace

Travel Responsibly when you visit Public Lands.

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Plan Your Visit