Nevada sunset. Remote country

Sunset over Spring Valley from the junipers of the Fortification Range.
Copyright © Ralph Maughan.

From the sign that says “next services 98 miles,” drive down U.S. 93. After 30 miles turn off onto a graded dirt road and go 15 miles, then 4 miles on “a way.” You are at the Fortification Range, a little known, recently designated Wilderness area with elk, deer and wild horses. This was taken on May 18. The mountains in view are actually the Snake Range. I love that unpopulated Nevada open backcountry.






  1. TPageCO Avatar

    There’s some pretty unpopulated Idaho open backcountry too…if you know where to walk. I’ve gone out three mornings this spring and never seen a soul. Lots of elk, grouse everywhere, and coyotes singing up a storm. Even found a big pair of elk sheds to impale myself with on the way downhill.

  2. Chuck Avatar

    Thank you for sharing Ralph, just might have to make a trip down there this summer.

  3. kt Avatar

    Hey Ralph! Yes that great lonely country.

    Maybe sometime over the next couple of months, the full array of ENERGY/UTILITY/CORRIDOR threats that would chop it into pieces, can be laid out all in one place (here) so all that is proposed in latter days of the Bush Admin. can be understood. It really is mind-boggling.

  4. Bruce Moorhead Avatar
    Bruce Moorhead

    Awesome photo, Ralph; it brings back fond memories. My wife and I loved prowling through rural WY, MT and ID just a week ago as we returned home from the Midwest to Port Angeles in Washington State.

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I’m glad you were gained some fond memories. I have them from a lot of places, and we hope to visit Port Angeles this summer.

    I exploring and am going to do even more because I recently retired a bit early.

    As “kt” just posted above, however, there is always someone or some interest out there that threatens to make our joy of a place a one time experience.

  6. Bruce Moorhead Avatar
    Bruce Moorhead

    Didn’t mention in first post but we viewed Slough Crk. den site (with 2 adults visible) with scope while at Yellowstone on our quick trip through the Lamar. Let me know if any local wildlife qxs when in Port Angeles.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan