Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests

Quick Facts

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests


(775) 331-6444


Things To Do


Located in both Nevada and California, lies the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests. It is the largest National Forest outside of Alaska, having a net acreage of approximately 3.9 million acres. It often comes as a surprise when sagebrush-dominated rangelands give way to alpine meadows and sparkling streams. You can travel through many life zones while exploring the forest.

Map of Humboldt-Toiyabe Nat'l Forests

Latitude, Longitude: 38.778780, -117.455640



  • Bicycling

    Biking opportunities are available.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The MVUM is a requirement of the Travel Management Final Rule and reflects travel management decisions on each National Forest. The MVUM displays National Forest System (NFS) routes (roads and trails), or areas designated open to motorized travel. The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (highway-legal vehicles, vehicles less than 50 inches wide, and motorcycles), seasonal allowances, and provides other travel rules and regulation information. Routes not shown on the MVUM are not open to public motor vehicle travel. Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed on the ground, but will be identified on the MVUM.

    It is the public's responsibility to reference the MVUM to determine designated routes for motor vehicle use. The MVUM will be updated annually, in January, to correct mapping errors or discrepancies and update travel decisions.

    The MVUM is a black and white map without topographic features. It is not a stand alone map and is best used in conjunction with a Forest Visitor Map or other topographic map. The MVUM is free to the public at each local Ranger District office and at the Humboldt-Toiyabe Supervisor's Office. The MVUM is available on this website and sections of it may be printed from your home computer.

    Scenic Byways are regularly traveled major roads that offer unique combinations of recreation adventures and scenic attractions.

    A string of twelve Scenic Byways and Highways wind their way across Nevada and eastern California, in and out of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Visitors are treated to unparalleled views along these routes.

    Overlooks provide photo opportunities for fabulous scenery, trees, wildflowers, and wildlife. Enjoy Forest Service campgrounds, special sites, and hiking trails.

    Always check weather forecasts and plan accordingly for changing conditions before hitting the road.

    Other links to scenic byways or roads that aren't on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest can be found by accessing the America's Byways websit at

  • Camping

    Whether you appreciate the heat of the desert or coolness of the mountains, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest provides a place for you to enjoy your camping and/or picnicking experience.

    Dispersed camp sites, developed campgrounds and day-use/group-areas enable you to make the most of your experience by allowing you to choose the option that best suits your lifestyle.

    Dispersed camping allows you to "get away from it all." Peace, solitude and adventure are some of the advantages to choosing an undeveloped campsite. Since there are no facilities, you must bring your own water, camp at least 100 feet from all water sources and dig a hole at least six inches deep for disposal of human waste. Remember all Forest rules and regulations apply even in dispersed sites. Developed campgrounds provide designated camping sites and facilities, sometimes with running water. Most developed campgrounds have a campground host who lives on the site during the season and maintains the grounds. Fees are usually collected at these sites and are based on the facilities provided. A percentage of the fees collected are used to maintain and improve these campgrounds.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed, call the area for more information.

  • Hiking

    If you have any medical conditions, discuss your plans with your health care provider and get approval before departing on your hike.

    Review the equipment, supplies and skills that you'll need. Consider what emergencies could arise and how you would deal with those situations. What if you got lost, or were unexpectedly confronted by an animal? What if someone became ill or injured? What kind of weather might you encounter? Add to your hiking checklist the supplies you would need to deal with these situations.

    Make sure you have the skills you need for your camping or hiking adventure. You may need to know how to read a compass, erect a temporary shelter or give first aid. Practice your skills in advance.

    If your trip will be strenuous, get into good physical condition before setting out. If you plan to climb or travel to high altitudes, make plans for proper acclimatization to the altitude.

    It's safest to hike or camp with at least one companion. If you'll be entering a remote area, your group should have a minimum of four people; this way, if one is hurt, another can stay with the victim while two go for help. If you'll be going into an area that is unfamiliar to you, take along someone who knows the area or at least speak with those who do before you set out.

    Some areas require you to have reservations or certain permits. If an area is closed, do not go there. Find out in advance about any regulations--there may be rules about campfires or guidelines about wildlife.

    Pack emergency signaling devices, and know ahead of time the location of the nearest telephone or ranger station in case an emergency does occur on your trip.

    Leave a copy of your itinerary with a responsible person. Include such details as the make, year, and license plate of your car, the equipment you're bringing, the weather you've anticipated and when you plan to return.

  • Historic Sites

    Within its 6.3 million acres, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest contains an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 prehistoric and historic archaeological sites. The various types of heritage resources range from the enigmatic squiggles and curlicues of prehistoric rock art, to the phenomenal mining towns of the 19th century, to Euro-American emigrant trails and roads.

    A number of Native American tribes claim Humboldt-Toiyabe lands as part of their ancestral homelands. These include different groups of Southern Paiute, Northern Paiute, Western Shoshone, and Washoe Indians. All of these Native American groups are the descendants of the prehistoric peoples that once inhabited the vast landscape stretching east from the Sierra Nevada Mountains across the basin and range lands of Nevada. Evidence of both historic Native American camps and prehistoric occupations are abundant throughout the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. While there is some evidence for very early Native American occupations (ca. 13,000 years ago) on the Forest near Ely, Nevada, archaeologists believe that most prehistoric uses of the mountain ranges managed by the H-T occurred after about 4500 years ago.

    Europeans began to travel through the Great Basin region as early as the 17th century. However, it was not until the American westward expansion of the 19th century, spurred on by the California Gold Rush, that full-scale settlement occurred. Lands overseen by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest are rich in historic sites, as represented by old emigrant roads, extensive mining towns, stagecoach stops, logging-related sites, among others.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is available, contact the area for more information.

  • Hunting

    Contact the area for more information.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Public lands in Nevada and north-eastern California offer Off-Highway Vehicle enthusiasts a wealth of driving and riding opportunities. A variety of experiences and a large number of miles are available for 4-wheel driving, ATV, and motorcycle use.

    OHVs are a great way to combine America's love of motor vehicles with the love of the outdoors. To make your time in the outdoors safe and entertaining, you should be familiar with the laws governing OHV use on public land.

    Mechanized vehicles are not allowed in Wilderness Areas. This includes mountain bikes and OHVs. Safety

    Motorized recreation can be extremely rewarding; however, you should always be prepared for the unexpected. Taking safety precautions my make the difference during an emergency.

  • Picnicking

    Day-use/group-areas are usually located in developed campgrounds and are used for picnicking. A use fee is charged to help pay for maintenance.

  • RVing

    RVing is available in some locations, call for more information.

  • Winter Sports

    Snowmobiling continues to increase in popularity as more people discover the enjoyment of motorized winter recreation. The fabulous winter scenery of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is accessible to people of all ages who enjoy the pleasure of snowmobile travel.

    Snowmobile routes are open when there is sufficient snow for resource protection (approximately eight inches in most places). Snowy conditions can start as early as late October and can last until April or May.

    Snowmobiling is not allowed in any of the Wilderness Areas.

    Winter recreation can be extremely rewarding. At the same time, however, the potential for extreme weather conditions in the Sierra Nevada range is always present. Taking safety precautions with these extreme conditions in mind may make the difference during an emergency.


Many people are unaware of the hazards of winter recreation. Ask about possible trail closures, hazards, weather conditions, and trail conditions. Avalanches are always a hazard; get avalanche information before you go and avoid situations where you could be buried in an avalanche. Always wear a transceiver and make sure you and your partners all know how to use them. Please, don't Go Out Alone. Please do not cross-country ski, snowshoe or snowmobile alone.

Hypothermia is aggravated by wind, exhaustion, and being wet. Avoid wearing cotton next to your body, as cotton will soak up perspiration and cool your skin. Hypothermia is the number one killer of outdoor enthusiasts.

A good rule is to carry "lightweight but loaded" foods, meaning loaded with calories. Plan your meals to ensure a diet of high-energy foods. Water is often difficult to find in winter. All that is available may be what you carry in containers or melt from snow. Water is essential because the body loses as much as 2-4 quarts of liquid per day under exertion.

Eating snow provides only limited water (10-20%), drains energy and cools the body temperature. Avoid melting snow by body contact. Travel equipped with proper implements to melt snow. Save your energy.

Phone Numbers


(775) 331-6444