[Photo] Old miner's cabin in Central Nevada. Photo by James Rigby.

Steve Williams, District Ranger
P.O. Box 3940
Tonopah, NV 89049-3940
(775) 482-6286

Located off U.S. Highway 95, approximately halfway between Reno and Las Vegas (a little over 200 miles from each) is the largest ranger district in the lower 48 states: Tonopah Ranger District. The district encompasses approximately 1.12 million acres on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Tonopah, population about 2,800, is the nearest town and houses the district ranger station.


A linear-chain of mountains, separated by long valleys, stretches north-to-south across central Nevada forming the rocky-mountainous terrain of the Tonopah Ranger District. In the lower elevations, the valleys vary from lush-fertile fields to barren playas created from evaporate minerals such as salt.


At 6,100 ft. in elevation, Tonopah’s winters are cool and relatively dry, averaging only 23 inches of snow in town in winter. Most winter days are windy with temperatures ranging from the mid-30s into the upper 40s during the day, and falling into the low 20s at night (record low is -15).

Summer days are dry with temperatures often above 90 degrees during the day (record high is 104), falling to the 50s at night. Tonopah receives an average of nearly five inches of precipitation per year, with most precipitation being uniformly distributed throughout the year.

Elevation Changes

Elevations on the district range from approximately 4,800 feet in the valleys, to 11,941 feet at the top of Mt. Jefferson in the Alta Toquima Wilderness of the Toquima Range.

Points of Interest

Arc Dome, Table Mountain and Alta Toquima Wilderness Areas, historic mining towns such as: Manhattan, Round Mountain, Belmont, and Tonopah, Round Mountain Gold Corporation open-pit gold mine in Big Smoky Valley

Flora and Fauna

Flora varies from sagebrush and other high desert and steppe vegetation, to trees, such as: pinyon pine and juniper at higher elevations.

Fauna consist of sage grouse, chukar, and other birds, to deer, elk, antelope, wild horses and burros, mountain sheep, and a few mountain lions in more remote areas of some of the mountain ranges, and trout in some mountain streams.

Recreation Types

Hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, OHV recreation, horseback riding, bird and wildlife viewing, photography and pine nut collecting