Mt. Callaghan P2K WSC
Peak 9,261ft P300
Prospect Peak P2K
White Mountain P300
Ely BM P1K
Squaw Peak
Murry Rock
Saxton Peak P300

Tue, Jul 17, 2018
Squaw Peak
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPXs: 1 2 3

I was on my way to Colorado to meet friends in Telluride for what has become a yearly event before the Sierra Challenge. As usual, I had plans to spend some time tagging various summits along the way. I had spent the night camped outside Fallon, NV, starting early on US50 (known as the World's Loniest Road). None of the hikes today were substantial as these were mostly drive-ups with a few short walks. Temps were hovering around 90F at 8,000ft so it was a good day to take it easy. For most of these, I followed routes gleaned from

Mt. Callaghan/Peak 9,261ft

Located north of Austin, NV and US50, Mt. Callaghan is a P2K and lands on the WSC list though it is a drive-up for high-clearance vehicles. The summit has several telecom towers though the highest point was not used. Some old wind breaks are found among the highest rocks along with a register that was unreadable since it was left exposed to the elements. I found a reference mark but was not able to locate the benchmark - it might be under the tower foundation. As one might expect from a P2K, views are pretty good, though today there was a lot of haze. Peak 9,261ft lies to the southwest, connected to Callaghan by a saddle that can be driven to by high-clearance vehicles. The spur road passes through a wooded area in a canyon with evidence of a campsite found in the middle. In 4L gear, I drove a very rough road even higher from the saddle to just below Peak 9,261ft's summit on the north side. It made for a short walk that took but a few minutes. To make it all the more worthwhile, I spotted several dozen wild horses on the slopes off the west side.

Prospect Peak/White Mtn

These two summits are located in the hills south of Eureka, NV and south of US50. As others have pointed out, Windfall Canyon Rd is in excellent shape and reaches further than indicated on the topo maps. A rough road (high-clearance recommended) forking north of this heads up to the summit. There was a herd of sheep found along the rough road, guarded by a sheepdog that was none too happy to have me drive through his herd. I didn't see any shepherds, but by the looks of things, the dog had everything under control. One can drive to the very highest point where a collection of towers can be found, including some new cell antennae - 4G is finally coming to Central Nevada. Looking west, I noticed a ridgeline leading to another named summit, White Mtn. After driving back down the road to near the saddle between the two peaks, I enjoyed a nice stroll of less than a mile to the second summit. Dozens of turkey vultures and a few ravens were using the wind coming over the ridge from the north to glide about in apparent play along the length of the ridgeline. I've seen ravens do this on many occasions, but this was the first time I'd seen buzzards so engaged. I found this bonus peak such a delight that I left a register here for the one or two folks that might visit over the next few decades.

When I got back to the Jeep I was alerted to a low tire pressure on one of my tires - seems I'd sprung a leak. I was able to drive back down to Eureka without the pressure dipping below 20psi. After inquiring about where I might find someone to fix it, I was directed out to SR278 and a repair facility. Unfortunately no one was there when I pulled in though it wasn't yet 2p, well within the posted hours. A propane truck pulled up a few minutes later and asked if anyone was home. After giving a negative reply, he commented, "Never is..." I'm guessing the owner isn't hard up for money. I ended up swapping the tire ' with the spare (damn, it was hot out) and decided to drive to Ely to get it repaired. An hour and a half later I had found the Big 8 Tire store with a couple of rather filthy bikers working the place. They did a great job fixing it, and for only $12. I haven't paid that little for a tire repair since the 1980s.

Ely BM/Squaw Peak

After my tire fix, I noticed a couple of highpoints around town and did some quick research to find that they were nearly drive-ups. Ely BM is a P1K to boot, so bonus there. It's not exactly a drive-up, but the hike from the telecom tower took only a few minutes. Andy Martin was among a small collection of peakbaggers to leave a register in 2009. No one had found the small pill bottle under the rocks since then. I then paid a visit to the slightly lower Squaw Peak less than half a mile away. It had some easy rock scrambling to the highpoint with a very fine view of Ely spread out below the summit to the southeast.

Murry Rock/Saxton Peak

Not yet tired, I drove back down to US50 and then up to Saxton Peak on the other side of the highway. Along the way, I passed by Murry Rock which is found just off US6 heading southwest from Ely. This limestone outcrop is about 30ft high and looks quite difficult. I found a class 4 route up the west side on what turned out to be pretty solid rock - I don't think I would have attempted it if it hadn't been limestone. After topping out on the airy perch, I took a few photos and returned to the bottom and back to the Jeep. Definitely worth a stop if you're driving along US6. Saxton Peak turned out to be just so-so. I was able to drive up to the very summit where another tower is found. It was then that I noticed the much higher Ward Mtn about a dozen miles to the south. This one hadn't even been on my radar, but it has over 3,000ft of prominence. I will have to add that to tomorrow's agenda...


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For more information see these SummitPost pages: Mt. Callaghan - Prospect Peak

This page last updated: Thu Jul 19 17:29:11 2018
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