Cap off an adventurous day in the Black Rock-High Rock Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area with a restorative nights stay at the Soldier Meadows Ranch & Lodge. Located about 4.5 hours north of Reno, backcountry experts flock to this historical property in seek of a relaxing night spent completely off grid in the care of some veteran ranch hands.
The property has quite an extensive historical connection as well, as it was the original location that hundreds of 49ers arrived after crossing what many consider to be the most treacherous stretch of the Lassen Applegate Emigrant Trail. Early pioneers sought refuge in the Soldier Meadows valley, as it provided opportunities for replenishing supplies and bathing opportunities in the bevy of surrounding creeks and hot springs. Interestingly enough, Camp McGreary was established in 1865 by the U.S. Calvary to protect early explorers from “hostile Native Americans” in the area. This exact camp stands on the same property as the Soldier Meadows Ranch & Lodge, and is the reason why Soldier Meadows received its name to begin with: the post of soldiers who were stationed in these particular meadows. Several stone buildings and stables remain standing from this former U.S. Army Camp. The Soldier Meadows Ranch & Lodge has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Soldier Meadows lies in between the Black Rock Desert and Sheldon National Wildlife, and is a short drive from Summit Lake. The area is known for its extreme remoteness and is an outdoor enthusiasts heaven on earth. The Calico Mountain Ranch lies to the west and High Rock Canyon to the south and is the epitome of a true high desert landscape, filled with hundreds of acres of natural meadows, jagged mountain ranges, steep canyon walls, what seems like never-ending stretches of backcountry driving and a handful of hot springs.
Soldier Meadows Ranch & Lodge is the ideal accommodation for large groups, as the property is a bunkhouse style with a series of private rooms and shared bathrooms. Guests can relax in a relaxing common area, complete with several couches, a television and a comfortable reading nook. The lodge is also offers a computer with internet connection, and refrigerators for guests to store their food and drink while staying at the lodge. Didn’t bring a cooler with your own supplies? No problem, the proprietors of Solder Meadows Ranch and Lodge will whip up an unforgettable dinner of breakfast for an additional fee.
The lodge makes for a fun experience, but if you’re in search of a romantic getaway, the property features a few suites for added privacy. Groups Welcome! The Soldier Meadows Ranch & Lodge graciously accommodates meetings and conferences, business retreats, family reunions, hunters and ATV, motorcycle and jeep clubs. The property also features two privately owned hot springs, open to guests of Soldier Meadows Lodge & Ranch. Plus, there is a private airstrip on site, for those who are looking to fly into the area.
Don’t take our word for it, lock down an overnight stay at this shady respite and see for yourself why this remote section of Nevada is so worthy of exploration.
From Reno, take I-80 east and take exit 43 in Wadsworth. Continue on State Route 447 north for nearly 75 miles until you reach Gerlach. This will be your last chance to purchase any last minute supplies, like food or fuel. From Gerlach, head north of Country Road 34 N to Soldier Meadows Road. Continue on Soldier Meadows Road for approximately 46 miles until reaching the meadows. You should see the BLM cabin on your left [west] and the hot springs lie just behind it and can be reached via a series of dirt roads. For a map of the entire Black Rock High Rock Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, click here.
When exploring Nevada’s beautiful backcountry, always remember to travel prepared. Remember to bring a spare [a tire patch kit wouldn’t hurt either,] extra fuel and plenty of food and water. This is a tremendously beautiful section of Nevada, but is said to be the most rugged and remote. It proves to be a great way to disconnect from it all, but remember, you will in fact be disconnected from cell service and away from modern conveniences like restaurants and gas stations. Do not attempt to travel in this area unless you’ve come equipped with a high clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicle. Travel smart and plan ahead.