Hickison Petroglyph Recreation Area consists of a free no-frills BLM-managed campground and a trail leading to petroglpyhs that date to nearly 10,000 years ago. At that time, much of the Great Basin area was beneath the waters of Lake Toiyabe and Lake Tonopah. Over time much of the Great Basin became arid and appears as it is today. More recently the area was inhabited by the Western Shoshone prior to the arrival of settlers in the 1800s. The area now called Hickison Summit, named after a local ranch owner, lies at the north end of the Toquima Mountain Range.
Today the recreation area offers a break for drivers traveling along Nevada's Loneliest Road, Highway 50. It features a shorter half-mile loop trail that leads past rock slabs with the petroglpyhs as well as a longer trail with spurs to two scenic viewpoints overlooking the Monitor Valley and the Big Smoky Valley. Portions of the trail provide ADA accessibility to the petroglyphs. Exploring the loop trail as well as the scenic overlooks can bring the entire distance up to about 1.65 miles.
From Highway 50, a large sign marks the location of the recreation area. A short drive down a gravel road leads to the day use parking area and free campground.
While there are vault toilets, picnic benches, and grills available at the day use area, there are no trash cans and no water sources in the area. The nearest water and groceries are available in the towns of Austin or Eureka. The heat and sunlight can become extreme in the summer, so come prepared.