The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest encompasses all of Nevada and the far Eastern edge of California. The name “Humboldt” comes from the explorer John C. Fremont. He named the East Humboldt Mountain Range and the Humboldt River after German naturalist Baron Alexander von Humboldt. “Toiyabe” is an ancient Shoshone word meaning “mountain.”
The Bridgeport Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest encompasses over one million acres in both California and Nevada. Its size makes it one of the largest districts in the National Forest Service system. Many habitats and ecosystems exist within the boundaries of the district. Fishing enthusiasts enjoy sparking mountain streams and glacial lakes. Visitors can observe native wildlife and explore the high elevation desert of the Great Basin, flower-filled meadows in the springtime, and snow-covered mountain peaks of the Hoover Wilderness. The Bridgeport Ranger station is located off Highway 395 in Bridgeport, California.
Terrain - For millions of years, volcanoes, oceans, earthquakes, and glaciers have combined to form the spectacular scenery on the Bridgeport Ranger District. Rocks laid in ancient oceans hundreds of millions years ago were later lifted, folded and broken into the many mountains of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin. Now and again, volcanoes broke up the relative monotony of erosion to blanket the region with a fresh layer of rocks.
The final bit of geologic handiwork began a few hundred thousand years ago when the earth's climate became cooler and wetter. More snow fell in the wintertime than melted in the summer. This was the beginning of the most recent period of glaciation, or ice age. Massive rivers of ice flowed down many of the area's canyons, gouging them deeper, wider, and longer. The same climatic fluctuations that began the ice age brought about its end. Beginning about 20,000 years ago, the climate began to warm, melting the glaciers.
Elevation Changes - Elevation on the district ranges from 4500 feet to the highest point of 12,374 feet which is Dunderberg Peak which is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in eastern California.
Climate - The weather for the area can vary greatly day to day and year to year, not to mention from morning to night. Temperatures have been known to fluctuate 60° between the low and high in a single day.
Summer temperatures usually range from 20°F to 90°F; winter temperatures can reach -30°F to -40°F. Thunder and lightening are common in the summer. Precipitation averages 11 inches in the low, desert areas but snowfall in the mountains my exceed 600 inches yearly.
Points of Interest - Highway 395 corridor, Highway 108 corridor, Sonora Pass, Hoover Wilderness, Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT), Matterhorn Peak, Bodie, Aurora and Masonic ghost towns, Twin Lakes, Virginia Lakes, Mono County museum, Bridgeport courthouse ( 2nd oldest courthouse in California), Buckeye Canyon, Sweetwater Mountains, Walker River, Green Creek, Bald Peak, Mt. Hicks and Bodie Hills.
Recreation Types - Hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, hunting, off-highway vehicle activities, horseback riding, bird and wildlife viewing, photography
Daily ranger guided interpretive programs and activities during the summer season. These include walks, talks, hikes, campfire programs and children’s programs, mountain biking, OHV trails, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, gold panning, rock hounding, and rock climbing.