The Dirt: Massacre Rim



Nestled between the Black Rock Desert to the south and the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge to the north, Massacre Ranch Recreation Area is about as far from civilization one can get in northwestern Nevada. The Recreation Area sits in a unique desert setting with high rims and vistas and surrounded by willows, aspens, and meadows. Vast expanses of sage-brush steppes and valleys that seem to stretch on past the horizon provide a seemingly endless number of trails to be explored.

The Massacre Rim has recently been designated as one of only 12 International Dark Sky Sanctuaries due its remoteness and the area provides excellent night-time astrophotography opportunities.

While the nighttime stargazing is a great reason for visiting this area, there is still much to be said for exploration and solitude during the day time hours here as well. Other recreational opportunities include camping, hiking, and horseback riding. Iconic Nevadan wildlife such as sage-grouse, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn allow for excellent wildlife viewing during the day as well.

Primitive camping at Massacre Ranch features a cabin that is available as a first come, first served for up to seven consecutive nights.

Soldier Meadows Ranch & Lodge is a cattle ranch and guest lodge located 3 hours north of Reno. Email to book your stay: soldiermeadowsreservations@gmail.com


Massacre Ranch is located north of High Rock Canyon Wilderness, 3-miles east of Nevada Highway 8A, and approximately 45-miles east of Cedarville, California, in northern Washoe County, Nevada.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: Bureau of Land Management

BLM Field Office – Applegate
708 West 12th Street
Alturas, CA 96101

Telephone: 530-233-4666

Email: BLM_CA_Web_AL@blm.gov

Motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only. For local regulations regarding OHV use on county roads, visit the BLM OHV Website https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/OHV.

Always plan ahead and prepare for uncertainty. Travel with warm clothing, first aid, food, water and appropriate tools to fix a problem.

Traveling in groups is always a good idea, as well as informing someone of where you will be going.

  • Register Your Vehicle
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with a spark arrestor
  • 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 Trail Users

Leave No Trace

Tread Lightly

Historic Preservation

Plan Your Visit