OverviewBlue Mountain is a lone peak sitting along the east side of Desert Valley in northern Nevada. The mountain is #81 on the Nevada prominence list with 2776 feet of prominence. The Winnemucca-Desert Valley region is host to several two-thousand foot prominence peaks, and with good weather multiple peaks can be picked off in a single day. Nearby "easy" peaks include, Bloody Run Peak, Slumbering Hills HP and Eugene Mountains Highpoint. Slightly more difficult but also close are Sonoma Peak, Granite Peak, and Jackson Range Highpoint. There are many others that can be combined with Blue Mountain for a multi-summit day.
Blue Mountain from the 4x4 road requires approximately 3.5 hours at a leisurely pace to summit and return to car with 1.3 miles of hiking and 1700 feet of elevation gain. Expect to find an old USGS tripod at the summit and a glass bottle register hidden in the summit cairn deposited some years ago by John Vitz.
Blue Mountain is blanketed along its northern and southern slopes with a light juniper forest. The upper rim-rock conceals large amounts of Chukar, a large flock of 20+ birds flew out as we neared the 7000 foot mark on the southeast ridge. The Atlas Mine is a quarry on the eastern slopes, large amounts of gold were taken from the nearby Slumbering Hills leading to other deposits found and scouted throughout this region. For more information look at this article from Time Magazine posted on Wikipedia:
Jumbo Mine in the Slumbering Hills
Blue Mountain is found in northern Nevada a short distance west of Winnemucca. The mountain is accessed on using fairly good roads for this lightly populated region, just be careful of open range cattle and long haul 18 wheelers on the Jungo Road. Dennis Poulin offered the following directions on Peakbagger.org that leads to a good point to start hiking up the 4x4 trail:
Blue Mountain is accessed from Winnemucca. Find Hwy 95 and head north. Just as you are leaving town you cross over the railroad tracks on a nice bridge and then turn left on Jungo Road and then take the left fork. Zero your odometer and go 16.9 miles on Jungo Road, turn right on an unmarked road that goes towards Blue Mtn. This turn is about .1 mile befor a cattle guard. Stay left at .4 miles and again at .7 miles. Travel into a canyon and climb up to a ridgeline at 2.5 miles from Jungo Rd. At the ridgeline, there is a lesser road that goes left directly toward Blue Mtn. Take this road and go .6 mile until it ends at about 5,725 ft. I hiked up the southeast ridge from there. The slope is steeper than it looks from the parking area, but it is open country and good footing. Great views.
I would add it is possible to drive right up to 7000 feet if your vehicle is set up for running the Rubicon. However most people will have trouble even driving the final 0.6 Dennis' refers to above. This road is steep and rough with a couple deep channels cutting across it.
Red TapeThe mountain itself is on BLM land, and while the access road cuts across some unmarked private property, when I was there the owner happened to be walking his land and expressed no concern with us being there.
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CampingYou could camp just about anywhere around the mountain, this is all wide open country. Be aware of mining claims and private frontage along Jungo road, but it appears people have camped up high around the beginning of the very steep and rarely traveled 4x4 path.
Winnemucca is the best place for overnight lodging, there are a number of Casinos and restaurants in the town, and its only a short drive from Blue Mountain (20 minutes).
Jungo Road travels from Winnemucca to Gerlach on the Black Rock Desert, seen below Blue Mountain at right and Eugene Mountains at left