Description - The Toiyabe National Forest is located mostly in Nevada, with a portion also in California. Sections of the Forest stretch from Lake Tahoe and Reno, south to the Las Vegas area.
- The now combined Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is the largest National Forest outside of Alaska, having a net acreage of approximately 3,855,960 acres. This description pertains to the Toiyabe.
Topography is highly variable in the Toiyabe. In various portions of the Forest one can stand upon cool, rugged, pine-covered or subalpine slopes at 10,000 feet and above and look down upon rolling arid foothills covered with pinyon pine, juniper and sagebrush, or Joshua trees, creosote brush and blackbrush. The wide plains of the inter-range valleys are in strong contrast to the overall ruggedness of the high, rocky ranges above. One must collectively describe the Toiyabe's typical topography as rugged-mountainous. Most of its reaches can be safely traversed by a reasonably experienced horseman or backpacker.
The vegetation of the Toiyabe is also very diverse. Elevations range from approximately 4,100 feet, near Potosi area on the Las Vegas District, to the 12,374 foot crest of Dunderberg Peak in the Hoover Wilderness.
For outstanding scenery, visitors should investigate the Pacific Crest National Recreational Scenic Trail, the Toiyabe Crest Trail, Mount Charleston National Recreational Trails and the soon to be completed Tahoe Rim Trail. The Toiyabe has eight designated wilderness areas which capture your imagination with solitude, rugged peaks and endless acres of forest land.
Recreation - The Toiyabe offers a variety of recreational opportunities throughout the year so you will find whatever you seek in an outdoor adventure on the Toiyabe National Forest. Camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing, canoeing, horseback riding, and sightseeing are just a few of the activities one can experience on the Forest.
There are 35 developed public campgrounds on the Forest. Other developed recreation opportunities include 8 picnic grounds, observation sites, trailheads, snowplay area, cross-country skiing and two ski resorts.
The Toiyabe provides over 1,100 miles of trails for hiking, backpacking and horseback riding. The Forest also offers over 1,600 miles of recreation roads for travel and viewing scenery.
Many of the easily accessible streams, especially on the Sierra districts, receive heavy fishing impacts and much of their fishing activity relies on regular stocking. Less accessible streams offer a higher level of fishing experience. In the central Nevada districts, the streams are all small. There are also some high mountain lake trout fisheries. These are found on the Sierra Range, especially on the Bridgeport District, some within the Hoover Wilderness.
Climate - The climate is very different from one part of the Forest to the other. Areas of the Forest are arid and desert-like in character and climate. The foothills of the Las Vegas District are characteristic of this arid and desert character regime. At the other extreme are numerous high elevation areas, 11,000 feet and above, that are subalpine in every respect, including climatic conditions. For instance, Mt. Charleston on the Las Vegas District, at 11,918 feet, numerous peaks in the Hoover Wilderness and several peaks in central Nevada which are 11,000 feet and above are just a few examples. One must be prepared for any kind of weather, especially when hiking or backpacking, particularly in fall and winter.
The Toiyabe National Forest is located mostly in Nevada, with a portion also in California. The Nevada portion of the Toiyabe is scattered throughout the mountains of western Nevada, from Reno, south to Las Vegas. The Toiyabe is headquartered in Sparks, Nevada. The Forest has five Ranger Districts with offices in Carson City, Austin, Tonopah and Las Vegas, Nevada; and Bridgeport, California.To give one an idea of how far flung the various parts of the forest are, portions of the Carson and Las Vegas Districts are as much as 500 miles apart. This should convey some impressions of the great variation in climate, geology and topography, flora and fauna, scenery and recreation opportunities that can be found on this sprawling National Forest.