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2013 Blog Entries 

Great Basin Update
11/29/2013 - More storms have passed through recently and dumped even more snow on the ranges across the Great Basin. It's safe to say that winter conditions arrived in early November this year, and aren't going away any time soon.  But what that means is that it's time for the low country - places like Clark County, NV and Death Valley National Park. One complication though, is the monsoon rains we had this past September - they washed out many roads that hikers normally use at this time of year to access the low country. Many roads are still closed in Death Valley National Park, for example. So the point is, regardless of where you are heading for your winter hiking, be sure to research the road conditions in advance.

NE Ridge of Middle Sister, Lyon County, Nevada
11/6/2013 - This is the high point for Lyon County. There have been some changes recently. The south spur of the Risue Road is now signed as "4205D". The north spur of the Risue Road and the main road are signed as "42050". After driving another 3.0 miles west from the spur junction, you turn left (southwest) onto the final segment, which is now signed "4205E". The final 1.1 miles up 4205E was damaged by the Sept 2013 monsoon, and most vehicles should just park at the start and walk the remaining distance to road's end. High clearance 4WD can continue up the rocky and rutted road for 1.1 miles to the corral & trailhead.

Boundary Peak, Esmeralda County, Nevada
11/2/2013 - The monsoonal rains that swept across Nevada in late September have caused severe water damage, both to the Queen Canyon Road and the Trail Canyon Road. It is likely that high clearance 4WD will be required to reach either starting point. It is not known if or when any repair work will be done on these roads. The latest storm deposited about 4000' of snow on the White Mountains, so Boundary Peak is effectively closed for the season.

Mount Tobin, Pershing County, Nevada
10/22/2013 - Fall continues in the Great Basin. The colors out there are truly outrageous in many places, and the stormy weather we had a few weeks ago has abated. Much of the initial snow has melted off, except for the north facing slopes and ridges. One really excellent peak to hike is Mount Tobin. After driving about 7 miles up the Golconda Canyon Road on the west side of the range, most 2WDs will park. This is a great spot to start the walk and will give you about 10 miles and 4400' round trip for Tobin. A steep 4WD road continues north along the high ridge to ultimately bring you to the southeast base of the peak. Another 3/4 mile and 1200' puts you on top. In addition to looking straight down into canyons filled with autumn color, the views of distant mountains and ranges is truly impressive, and spans no less than 7 counties. Included in the panorama are Star Peak, Eugene Mtns, Blue Mtn, King Lear and the Jackson Mtns HP, Bloody Run, Sonoma, Granite and the Santa Rosas, Adam, North Pk (Battle Mtn), Marys Mtn, the distant Rubies, Lewis, Saddle BM, Tenabo, Roberts Creek Mtn, Cain, Moses, Callagan, the Toiyabes from Bunker Hill to Arc Dome, North & South Shoshone, New Pass Peak, Desatoya, Healy, Augusta, and Job. Truly amazing views, and Golconda Canyon can be approached either from Winnemucca or Lovelock. A keeper!

Great Basin Update
10/13/2013 - The Nevada County High Points hiking season is pretty much over for this year. Snow has arrived in the high country earlier than expected, and the temps have become frigid, especially above 10K. Adding to the complications are many dirt roads that have washed out, compliments of the severe thunderstorm activity of this past August and September. While a few of the peaks might still be hikeable, most are likely to entail snow hiking...if you can even get to them. On the bright side, many Great Basin peaks in the 5-9K range are still available.

As far as the US government shutdown goes, the only one of Nevada's County High Points that is affected is Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park. The road that is utilized to get to the Wheeler Peak trailhead is closed. An alternate trailhead that could be utilized, Baker Creek, is also closed.

Fall Colors
9/17/2013 - Another round of thunderstorm activity passed over the Great Basin last week, leaving more mud and damaged roads in its wake. On the bright side, many plants and grasses in the high country are still lush and green, thanks to all of the moisture. But the aspens haven't been fooled - they know winter is coming and have started turning. There are some amazing stands of fall color on Mount Moriah and throughout the Snake Range in Great Basin National Park. That means now is a good time to pick off Wheeler Peak, before it gets too cold. Ruby Dome is snow-free and is also sporting some nice colors along the approach route in Hennen Canyon. Other locales, like the Sweetwaters in Lyon County, are also shaping up. There's a nip in the air in the morning and the sun is getting lower on the horizon each day - so get out there and bag some Nevada County High Points while enjoying the beautiful autumn colors.

Great Basin Update
9/3/2013 - The thunderstorm activity of the past two weeks has really hammered parts of the Great Basin. Flash floods have wrecked many formerly excellent canyon approach roads, and the water & mud flows have shut down paved roads as well. Be very careful on dirt road approaches right now, as the storm damage may not yet have been surveyed and marked in the most distant corners of Nevada. Also be prepared for a longer hike if you can't make it all the way in to the "normal" trailhead. With only about 14 hours of daylight at this time of year, early starts are highly recommended.

Great Basin Update
8/26/2013 - It's now late summer and autumn is sneaking up on us. Unfortunately due to the numerous fires in the Sierra Nevada and other places, much of Nevada is blanketed with smoke. That makes for unplesant hiking - irritated eyes and a burning throat. The worst of the smoke is in western central Nevada, so the best county high point objectives are currently in eastern and southern Nevada. Ruby Dome, Wheeler, Diamond, the Grafton liner, and Charleston are probably the best bets. In some of these areas, we'll soon be seeing the start of the fall colors, as an added bonus.

Mount Grant, Mineral County, Nevada
8/16/2013 - The 2013 Mount Grant Memorial Challenge (hiker & runner access day)  is scheduled for Saturday September 7, 2013. For more information and to get a sign-up form, send an email to mtgrantchallenge@gmail.com. If you need Mount Grant and have not yet done it, now is the time. There is no guarantee that this event will be held in the future.

Charleston Peak, Clark County, Nevada
8/14/2013 - The North Loop trail to Charleston Peak is now open. You can start from either the Trail Canyon Trailhead or the North Loop Trailhead. However, you cannot do the full loop - the South Loop trail remains closed due to fire damage. So if you do go for Charleston, plan on returning the way you came.

Full House Peak, Elko County, Nevada
7/28/2013 - The weather over much of Nevada has been flaky the last two weeks - thunderstorms popping up almost every day, often with rain, thunder, and lightning. Therefore, early starts are a must right now when hiking peaks throughout the Great Basin...and this will also help to avoid the mid-summer heat.

If you're looking for a bonus peak to add on after an ascent of Ruby Dome, look no further than Full House Peak (11,120'). Starting from Road's End in Lamoille Canyon, you'll hike the trail to Island Lake and then head x-c towards the peak, which is southwest of the lake. It is pretty beyond Island Lake, with lush meadows and many wildflowers, but becomes increasingly strenuous and rocky. But with careful routefinding, the route never should exceed steep class 2. From the summit you'll have views to many nearby peaks in the Rubies - Thomas, Verdi, Snow Lake, Fitzgerald, Onthank, Gilbert, Mazama, and more. Also in the distance you should be able to see the peaks of the East Humboldt Range, Goshute, Spruce, and others farther out. For an easy round trip of about 5 miles and 2400' gain, it's a great morning workout.

Charleston Peak, Clark County, Nevada
7/22/2013 - Though the fire is fully contained and many areas have reopened, the North & South Loop trails to Charleston Peak remain closed.
7/14/2013 - The fire is 60% contained and the firefighters are hoping for 100% containment within a week. It will still continue to smolder for some time within those containment lines. Local residents are slowly being allowed to return to their homes. No word yet on any trail damage to the Charleston Peak trails, or when they will re-open. Best guess is sometime in early August.
7/6/2013 – The Clark County high point, Charleston Peak, remains closed as firefighters continue to battle the Carpenter Canyon fire. All roads into the Spring Mountains have been closed to the public, and all residents have been evacuated from the town of Mount Charleston and nearby canyons. It is not known when Charleston Peak will re-open for hiking, but it will likely be several weeks.

Commemorate Your Climb
7/2/2013 – For anyone who may consider commemorating their climb of White Pine County High Point, Wheeler Peak, take a look at the new Great Basin National Park 3-coin set. These "America the Beautiful" quarters feature mintmarks from the Denver, Philadelphia, and San Francisco mints, and come in a durable plastic case. This lovely set makes a nice gift too!

Extreme Heat in the Southwest
6/30/2013 – With the Extreme Heat warning in effect for the Southwestern States, now may NOT be a good time to hike Nevada's County High Points. Even when you are doing the higher peaks of this list, you always start at a lower (warmer) elevation. A good article on being prepared for the heat can be found at DesertUSA.

Boundary Peak, Esmeralda County, Nevada
6/20/2013 – The Nevada County High Points season is in full swing. Every single peak or point is available, and at this time it may even be too warm for some of the lower ones. On the other hand, the higher ones may still have some lingering snow patches, especially Ruby Dome. Some snow may still be present on Wheeler Peak too.

At 13,140', Boundary Peak is Nevada's highest mountain. It attracts alot of people for this reason - Highpointers, County Highpointers, and Prominence Seekers among others. And although it is a fairly easy mountain to ascend, that does not mean things always go smoothly. This past week, a hiker got lost while descending back to his car in Trail Canyon, and actually ended up on the wrong side of the mountain, in the Morris Creek drainage. It took the combined resources of 4 counties, the CHP, and the Air Force to locate and extract the hiker, who was out in the Boundary Peak Wilderness for 3 days and 2 nights. 

This emphasizes the importance of pre-trip planning. Make sure you have an adequate map and carry xerox copies of the route description. A compass is good, but an altimeter and GPS can help even more. Newer devices like the SPOT can really expedite your rescue if things go wrong. When ascending to higher elevations, don't forget about acclimatizing. A motel may be comfortable, but sleeping in the car at the trailhead can net you thousands of extra feet of overnight acclimatization. Be sure that someone knows your itinerary, and that a copy of your itinerary is in your car. That is one of the first things the authorities will do if you summon assistance via cell phone or SPOT. They will locate your car and get inside it, to seek clues about where you went. Have many safe hikes this summer.

NV County High Points along Highway 50
5/28/2013 – If you're looking for to get out and hike some of Nevada's County High Points, there is good news - the peaks along US Highway 50 have melted off. Specifically, it looks like Desatoya Peak, Bunker Hill, and Diamond Peak have had some major snow diminishment in the last 2-3 weeks. The approach roads are certainly clear, though you may still have to walk across some snow patches on your way to the summits. A recent report stated that a person was able to drive their 4WD to Queen Canyon Saddle for Boundary Peak as well. In fact, with the exception of Ruby Dome (which would currently still require some major snow travel), all of Nevada's County High Points are now available for hiking. Just be prepared for the usual spring conditions - possibly muddy approach roads and possible lingering snow up high.

Mount Wilson & Rainbow Wall, Clark County, Nevada
5/22/2013 – Much of the snow that layered the mountains of Nevada this past winter has melted, and it is quickly warming up. While most folks are already hiking in the higher terrain, or soon will be, brief cooldowns can be used to wrap up some medium elevation peaks before summer arrives. Good examples of this are Mount Wilson (7070') and Rainbow Wall (6924') in the Spring Mountains. Located within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, these two fine peaks make for a nice hike from Lovell Canyon. This west side approach can be warm, steep, and brushy but its relatively short. Once atop the north-south running ridgeline separating Lovell Canyon from Red Rocks, the views really open up. Then it's east along a connecting ridge, to get to Wilson. By staying north along this ridge initially, the route will remain class 2, and is nothing more than steep walking on slabs later on. Rainbow is similar, though it utilizes a different connector ridge to the north, and has a bit more complex of a route. With careful routefinding, only one brief spot of class 3 is encountered, not far from the summit of Rainbow Wall. To the east, the Las Vegas Strip and Lake Mead are visible. Bridge Mountain is to the north, with La Madre, Turtlehead, Griffith, and Potosi also visible in various directions. Bighorn sheep frequent these peaks, so you may get lucky and spot a herd. Just don't wait too long to do these...once June arrives the temps might transform these otherwise enjoyables peaks into a nasty hot experience.

Mount Davidson, Storey County, Nevada
5/14/2013 – Mount Davidson is in great shape for hiking right now - everything is green and the flowers are blooming. Here is a great background article from DesertUSA about the Virginia City area: http://www.desertusa.com/Cities/nv/nv_virginiacity.html

Jumbo Peak, Clark County, Nevada
5/6/2013 – Though most of the true peaks in Nevada are of a non-technical rock nature, there are a few that require rock climbing skills to ascend. One such peak is Jumbo Peak (5,761'), high point of the South Virgin Mountains in Clark County. This area is commonly referred to as "the Gold Butte area" and is south of Mesquite NV. After a long dirt road approach, it's a scant matter of 1000' in a mile to get to the summit block. On the north side of the block, slightly down and to the west, lies a steep cleft. This is where folks will don helmets, rock shoes, and climbing harnesses. You ascend steeply up the cleft, on large blocky rocks, with a rating that is class 3-4. Atop the final block you exit left through a cave to arrive at a ledge. Here you go up a lichen-covered slab (5.3) and move right to a crack, then left up another small cleft before scrambling to a large boulder that denotes the top of the route. From here another 20 feet of scrambling puts you on the top, where a register is located. The views are pretty awesome and stretch all the way from the Spring Mountains to Grand Canyon National Park, with the nearby Overton Arm of Lake Mead clearly visible. Las Vegas can also be discerned in the distance. After enjoying the top, a long rappel puts you back at the start (though rock jocks may opt for the downclimb.) As the #52 peak on the prominence list for Nevada, some folks also use this peak as a substitute for Area 51's Bald Mountain when pursuing Nevada's "Fifty Finest".

Brawley Peaks, Mineral County, Nevada
4/22/2013 – A really nice place for a spring hike is the Brawley Peaks. (The west peak is 9520' and the east peak is 9420'.) Located in the Bodie Hills just east of the California state line, this is historic country overlooking the Mono Lake basin. The peaks can be approached from the south via NV SR 359 or from the north via a complex of dirt roads south of Aurora. By April or May, most of the snow has melted off and you can get to with easy hiking distance of the two Brawleys. It's not completely a pleasure hike - there is definitely some brush to contend with - but it is more than made up for by the stunning summit views. These include Mount Grant in the Wassuk Range, Bald Mtn in the Pine Grove Hills, the Sweetwater Range, the White Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and Mono Lake. Dozens of lesser peaks are visible in many directions including Table Mountain in the Anchorite Hills, Mt Hicks, Corey Peak, Potato & Bodie Mountains, Cedar Hill, and Glass Mountain. It's an area that's populated with wild horses, small creeks, and pocket meadows. For instructions of how to get here, be sure to pick up a copy of Desert Summits by Andy Zdon.

Great Basin Update
4/14/2013 – It's really starting to shape up as an excellent spring in the Great Basin. The grass has sprouted, the flowers are blooming, and the creeks are running. If you're looking for a south-facing route, peaks from 9K and down are a go, with even a few 10K peaks available. Approaches from the west or east will have more lingering snow, but are manageable and have many snow free routes. The north-facing aspects may have another two months to go to melt off. The wind has still been a problem lately, with dust down low and colder temps up high. But the little weather systems passing through have not been big moisture producers, with only minor dustings up high. So it's "game on" for the spring hiking season!

Sheep Peak, Clark County, Nevada
4/1/2013 – Yesterday was rather unpleasant as far as northern Nevada weather goes, with fresh dustings all the way to 6000' in some places. However, the snow below 8000' won't last long, as the sunny spring weather has re-emerged.

Located in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge just north of Las Vegas, Sheep Peak is an excellent high peak (9750') in Clark County. Although most people visiting the Sheep Range are going for Hayford Peak (9912'), the range high point, Sheep Peak is still very worthy of a visit. For starters, it is farther south and closer to Las Vegas, so it gives better views of both Vegas and the Spring Mountains. It also overlooks Creech Air Force Base, the training ground for drone pilots. But if there is one thing that is very striking about the hike to Sheep, its the variety of terrain. As you drive through the Refuge, you see many rugged rocky peaks, sprinkled with cactus, and if you didn't know better you'd think you were in Arizona. Later while hiking, you notice that there is less cactus and more sage, with an eclectic mix of other plants. Soon you're in the pinyon zone, followed by real pine trees towering overhead. Finally along the high ridges dotted with snow patches and bristlecones, you feel like you're on a true Great Basin beastie. Among the many peaks you can spot are Telescope Peak in Death Valley, Yucca Mountain, Mummy Mountain, Frenchman & Wilson near Lake Mead, McCullough, Muddy, Mormon & Moapa, Virgin, Gass, and many others. From the east side at the end of the Pine Nut Road, this one checks in at about 7 miles and 3500' gain. A great way to spend a morning, and when you're done, you've got all you can eat buffets down in Vegas below!

Bloody Run Peak, Humboldt County, Nevada
3/27/2013 – Not far north of Winnemucca and just to the west of US Highway 95 lies Bloody Run Peak (7907'). Although this group of peaks is called the "Bloody Run Hills", it is technically part of the much larger Santa Rosa Range, home to Humboldt County's high point, Granite Peak. While Granite Peak and several of its neighbors like Buckskin Mtn and Santa Rosa Peak are still buried under snow, Bloody Run Peak has only a few minor snow patches right now during early spring, and is entirely hikeable. The Sand Pass Road and a gas pipeline road are utilized to approach the peak and even the final segment, the Paiute Canyon Road, is driveable for most 2WD. Then after parking next to a bubbling grass-lined brook, it's nothing but up up up to the summit, with an ascent of something like 2800' in 1.75 miles. The views are far-reaching and include peaks like Adam, Sonoma, Star, Eugene, Blue, King Lear, Duffer, and many others. You can also see north to some Oregon mountains. Yet the register shows this one is infrequently ascended, which is a shame since its such a lovely spring peak. So the next time you are driving by Winnemucca in the early season, consider a walk up Bloody Run Peak. 

Eugene Mountains, Pershing County, Nevada
3/17/2013 – The Eugene Mountains High Point (7582') is a special peak. Not only is it conveniently located off Interstate 80 between Lovelock and Winnemucca, but it's the 51st most prominent peak in the state. As such, most people count it as one of "Nevada's Fifty Finest". But why, if it checks in at #51? Because alot of folks use it as a substitute for Bald Mountain, which is inside of Area 51 and off limits to hikers. Though northern Nevada had some extremely frigid temps this past winter, we did not get much snow. In fact, we're still in a drought. But for peakbaggers, this means the opportunity exists to get nice peaks like Eugene much earlier than you would expect. Right now, a 2WD vehicle can drive 4+ miles up the Pole Canyon Road, and you can have a snow free hike to the peak. (And add on Eugene BM as a bonus.) 4WD can make it all the way to the saddle between the two Eugenes. The quantity of other peaks visible from atop the Eugene HP are truly too numerous to count. A few, but certainly not all, of the peaks that can be spotted from the summit include Majuba Mountain, Granite Peak (Gerlach), Donnelly Peak, King Lear Peak, Jackson Mountains HP, Duffer Peak, Orevada View & Disaster Peak, Blue Mountain, Winnemucca Mountain, Sonoma Peak, Mount Tobin, and Star Peak. In the far distance to the east, the Ruby Mountains can even be spotted (though binoculars really help!) The grass and flowers are sprouting, and the snowmelt creeks are running. Its a great time to get out there and grab some early spring peaks. We're still in storm season, so it pays to get out and get some peaks before the next one rolls in!

Bullfrog Hills, Nye County, Nevada
3/11/2013 – A really excellent place for winter hiking is the Bullfrog Hills. Located immediately to the west of the town of Beatty on US Hwy 95, the mountains here range from 4000' to 6000+'. They rarely get snow, but they can still be nippy (and windy) at times. Nonetheless, there is plenty to choose from here, and you have the added bonus of many old mining areas to explore. For example, the ghost town of Rhyolite is just a 5 minute drive from Beatty. The peaks themselves are mostly class 2, some spots with loose rock, but not much vegetation. That is to say, it's a pretty dry and rocky place for hiking. But that's a good thing when the higher elevations are shrouded in white, including the nearby peaks of Death Valley. Some of the peaks in the area are Sawtooth Mtn, Sharp BM, Bullfrog Mtn, Busch Peak, Sutherland Mtn, Rainbow Mtn, Black Peak, Ladd Mtn, Montgomery Mtn, Paradise Mtn, Burton Mtn, and Velvet Peak. Moving a bit further out to the fringes, you can pick up Sage BM, Goldbar Mtn, Donovan Mtn, and Oasis Mtn. You'll have plenty of choices, and more peaks than can be done in a weekend.

How To Keep Ice Cold in the Desert
3/8/2013 – This article, How To Keep Ice Cold in the Desert, is an oldie but a goody. Enjoy.

Great Basin Update and Bonnie Claire Area
2/17/2013 – Not too much has changed in the past two weeks. Currently all of Nevada's County High Points are snowbound, and that includes many of the approach roads. We've seen a bit of melting on the south facing slopes, and some routes even up to 9K appear hikeable. But such windows of opportunity will remain fleeting and fickle, as more winter weather is coming soon. The best bets for hiking right now remain to the south, in Clark County and parts of Nye and Esmeralda Counties.

One seldom visited hiking destination in Esmeralda County is the Bonnie Claire area. These are the peaks to the north and south of NV SR 267, between US Hwy 95 and Scotty's Castle. These peaks are to the east of Death Valley National Park, and are on BLM land. There are several benchmarks in this area, sporting names like Bonnie, Batus, Queer, Baldwin, and Helmet. To say "nobody ever does these peaks" is not too far from the truth. With these peaks and several other prominence peaks in the immediate vicinity, it is highly likely that you could be one of the first 5 parties to ever make the ascent. It's also a guaranteed bonus that you'll find solitude here, and your hiking will be snow-free. Don't be surprised to come across an old miner's cache while hiking these peaks - their gear has probably been lying on the desert floor or a remote ridgeline for at least 100 years.

Thoughts on Some New Footgear
1/27/2013 – It's pretty rare that I diverge into the realm of hiking gear, but a couple of recent entries caught my eye. The first one is elastic replacements for laced shoes. What an excellent idea. Have you ever been out hiking somewhere, stopped to tighten a shoelace, and had it break on you? It's happened to me oodles of times. Then the tedious task of re-lacing, or creating a random cluster-knot to keep the shoe together until the hike is over. So why not throw one or two of these into your hiking pack? They don't seem to weigh much, and could be very helpful during a multi-day trip or an ultra-hike.

The second item I am not so sure about. It is a foldable zippable hiking shoe. The problem here is, the shoe does not look very sturdy - I'm not sure what kind of terrain I would be willing to use them on. The ankle support appears to be non-existent. It certainly does look desirable for packing into a suitcase though. One thought on this is...maybe these shoes could be carried in a daypack or backpack and used for creek crossings? That would be preferable to getting your main boots soaked. And then they could be used as "camp shoes" around the tent, or as "driving home" shoes. I think there are some possibilities here, but not enough for me to become a "bleeding edge" purchaser.

Great Basin Update & Scruge BM
1/21/2013 – "The Winter that Keeps on Giving" has given us yet another special surprise in the past two weeks - negative temperatures! While teen and single digit temps are pretty common in the dead of winter in northern Nevada, the recent artic blast has been uncharacteristically cold. Tahoe had -12, many of the western valleys fell to -5, and eastern Nevada even fell to -20 at times. Brrrrr! Even the usually moderate climes of Clark County fell into the 20s and teens. It was wise to avoid hiking at that time, since frostbite and hypothermia were real possibilities. Fortunately it has warmed up a bit since then, and this past weekend it even popped up to 70 down in Death Valley.

Speaking of Death Valley, a fun little non-prominent peak to hike in the northern segment is Scruge Benchmark (2652'). Starting from the parking area at the mouth of Titus Canyon, it's a rollercoaster affair across alluvial fans and various-sized drainages to approach the south ridge of Scruge. Then the route goes steeply up a ridge of broken rock and loose dirt for some 1400' to attain the benchmark. Here the hiker will find some amazing views, including much of Death Valley proper, Grapevine Peak, Mount Palmer, Last Chance Mtn, Sandy BM, Tin Mtn, Canyon Point, Panamint Butte, Towne Peak, Pinto Mtn, Tucki Mtn, and Telescope Peak. Even White Mtn Peak is partly visible, far to the northwest. While Scruge does not really count as a peak for the purists, it is an extraordinary viewpoint that is well worth the effort, especially at a time of year when the higher elevations are likely to be unpleasant. 

Great Basin Update & Hamblin Mountain
1/7/2013 – It's been a robust winter in the Great Basin, and it shows no sign of abating soon. Snow lingers on the valley floors, down to approximately 4000', across northern and central Nevada. There is much more white the higher you get, and many approach roads remain snowbound.

The best bet for Nevada hiking right now is Clark County. One fine peak overlooking Lake Mead is Hamblin Mountain (3310'). This peak lies directly south of the Muddy Mountains, and the starting point is a paved pullout along the Northshore Road. The driving and hiking instructions for this peak can be found in Desert Summits by Andy Zdon. Atop this lovely little peak, you'll be treated to sweeping views of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and many significant peaks. These include Bonelli Peak and Virgin Mountain to the east, Muddy Mountain to the north, Hayford Peak and Sheep Peak to the northwest, Charleston Peak and the Spring Mountains to the west, and Mount Wilson, Arizona to the south. Many other peaks are visible, including Black Mountain in the nearby River Mountains, which can be hiked in the same day as Hamblin, provided you get an early start. Be aware that Lake Mead is a fee area, so bring your Federal Interagency Pass or be prepared to pay the $10 daily fee. Hamblin Mountain is a great hike that checks in at about 6 miles and 1600' gain round trip, and best of all, you'll rarely encounter snow.