The Dirt: Northern Elko County



Northern Elko County is a vast rural area in the Northeastern corner of the state. The area is rich in natural and human history, and is popular with snowmobile users, OHV enthusiasts, hunters, sightseers, rock hounds, campers, and many others. Imposing mountain ranges and sweeping basins create impressive views, while reservoirs and seasonal creeks create small oases in the rolling sagebrush steppe. Major peaks and attractions in this area include Biroth Ridge, Gods Pocket Peak, Marys River Peak, Jumbo Peak, Jarbridge Peak, Wonga Douya, Merritt Mountain, Pennsylvania Hill, Porter Peak, McAfee Peak, Jacks Peak, California Mountain, Wheeler Mountain, the Independence Range, and Wild Horse State Recreation Area. 

See the detailed Jarbidge PDF map to view motorized routes surrounding and non-motorized routes through the Wilderness Area. Remember, no motorized vehicles are allowed within USFS Wilderness Areas. This includes, but is not limited to: UTVs, ATVs, motorcycles, cars, trucks, snowmobiles, and other vehicles.


There are many points of access to public lands in Northern Elko County.  A few are listed below:

  • Jarbidge: A small but very visitor-friendly community in the northernmost part of the state. Dirt roads and trails radiate out from the town in every directions.
  • Mountain City: Another small town in northern Nevada, located conveniently on Nevada State Route 225. Trails to the South and East can be found in this area.
  • Jack Creek Campground: A very popular Forest Service campground, with access to many routes in the center of the area. Please see the Forest Service's website on the area for more information.
  • Wild Horse Reservoir State Recreation Area: OHV use is strictly regulated within the recreation area, but just outside of the recreation area are connections to many of the trails shown here. Please refer to the recreation area's website for more information.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: United States Forest Service - Elko Office

660 South 12th St.
Suite 108
Elko, NV 89801

Telephone: 775-738-5171

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.

While there are a number of user created play areas and OHV trails, it is best practice to follow leave no trace and tread lightly principles. Users are encouraged to stay on existing roads and trails. Plenty exist in this area! Always ride within your limits and be courteous to other trail users. 

  • 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

Land Manager

Plan Your Visit