The Dirt: Schell Mountains OSV



Another great recreation opportunity in Ely, Nevada is to OSV near Cave Lake State Park and the Schell Mountains! While motorized vehicles are prohibited within the High Schell Wilderness Area, there are OSV routes that follow along Cave Lake Road and Cooper Canyon Road. Snowmobiling is allowed within Cave Lake State Park only along approved dirt roads. 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended, as snow and road conditions can change quickly and frequently!

The Fire and Ice Winter Festival is a fantastic winter event held annually at Cave Lake State Park and in Downtown Ely. This 3 day festival is an exciting community gathering, including ice sculptures, XC skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and even events like ice bowling! This is a can't-miss event that brings out the true Nevada spirit in the cold winter months! Check out Fire And Ice Winter Festival - (elynevada.net) for more information. 

Berry Creek and Timber Creek Campgrounds are not open during the winter months, the Lake View Campground near Cave Lake within the State Park is open year-round. There are flush toilets and showers available, but contact the park before arrival to ensure it is operational for your visit.


From downtown Ely:

  • Cave Lake State Park is located 8 miles south of Ely, Nevada.
  • Follow Highway 50 south.
  • Turn left onto NV-486.
  • Staging options are available past Cave Lake State Park, along Cave Lake Road and towards Cooper Summit.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: US Forest Service - Ely Ranger District

825 Avenue E
Ely, NV 89301
(775) 289-3031

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest has not completed Over-Snow Vehicle Use Travel Management planning for this area. The over-snow vehicle routes and open areas shown on this map are information only and are subject to change. This map implies no right of access across any private lands displayed on this map. Please follow Responsible Recreation guidelines and stay on existing roads and trails.

Be sure to check local riding and weather conditions before recreating, as conditions can change quickly! Motor vehicles are permitted on designated trails only - be respectful of seasonal wheeled-vehicle closures. Over-snow Vehicles are required to yield to all other users.

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.

Plan Your Visit