The Dirt: Squaw Creek Reservoir



The reservoir and surrounding trails can be easily found by following State Route 447 North from Gerlach. Several large dirt pull-throughs can be found on the East side of Squaw Creek Reservoir. The reservoir and much of the surrounding land is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, although there are some section of private property open to the public in the area. Fishing is an extremely popular activity at the reservoir, and more information can be found at the Nevada Department of Wildlife website. Trails branch from the reservoir in all directions, including access to extensive trails in the Granite Range nearby.


For wildlife spotters, Squaw Reservoir is a hidden gem in the Great Basin Desert. Accessible via paved roads, the reservoir provides water year round for flora and fauna in a region where lakes often vanish and reappear with the changing seasons. Waterfowl, antelope, deer, and other fauna are frequently seen enjoying the waters of the reservoir and its many nearby creeks. Several areas to the South and East of the reservoir abut private property. Please respect these land managers by staying on designated trails and roads. Almost the entirety of the valley, and the surrounding mountains, are accessible for free public camping and other BLM, FWS, and USFS permitted activities. All routes in the valley are within 23 miles of Gerlach, which features a gas station, restaurants, and some shopping and other amenities.


From Gerlach, proceed West on Main Street/County Route 447 out of town. Remain on Route 447 for roughly 19 minutes/17 miles. Squaw Creek, the Reservoir, or surrounding green foliage will be visible on the left as you approach. Pull off onto one of the dirt roads on the left; they are all connected to the same trails and campgrounds.

Rules of the Road

Land Manager: Bureau of Land Management

BLM Field Office – Black Rock
5100 East Winnemucca Blvd.
Winnemucca, NV 89445

Telephone: 775-623-1500

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