Overview & Description
Job Peak is the highest point in the extensive Stillwater Range in west-central Nevada. It claims relatively easy trailhead access, a summit trail, unbelievable views, and decent elevation gain of 4000'-5000'. In spite of all these assets, it ranks as one of the least visited peaks in the Great Basin. It is not unusual to have the summit register go for years without an entry! Add this to the list of good points, as tourist-free peaks are getting scarce.
As stated above, the climb may be done via trail or cross-country. The Stillwaters are crisscrossed with old trails dating to earlier times, and remnants of these may show up in key places --- traverses, sidehills, and switchback sections are found on all sides of the peak.
Spectacular views with visibility exceeding 170 miles are to be had from the relatively small summit. Sierra peaks such as Mt. Tom, Mt. Dana, and the Palisades may be seen, as well as prominent Nevada peaks like Roberts Creek Mt., King Lear, Mt. Grant, Mt. Rose, and Arc Dome. On the west, the Carson Sink playa and wetlands invoke a 40-mile long vacuum before the next mountain range. To the east, Dixie Valley drops away with 5000' of vertical relief in only 4 miles.
Wildlife come in the form of Mule Deer, Chukar, Bighorn Sheep (allegedly), and US Navy fighter aircraft. While most of the live ordinance is dropped in Dixie Valley, low passes over the ridgelines are not unheard-of. The last tourist left the summit in late 2000, although experts predict that the species will make a comeback.
Getting to Almost the Middle of Nowhere
Bearbnz give good directions to the west trailhead on his Mt. Lincoln page. I will repeat them here, with minor elaboration:
"From Reno (the closest metro area), drive eastbound on Interstate 80 for a half-hour or so, and take Exit 48. Proceed south for [0.3] miles, and turn left at the light onto NV Alt 50. Follow this to the town of Fallon, and drive straight through Fallon. Just after leaving the [city] limit, watch for NV 116 on your left, and turn [there]. Follow this to the small burg of Stillwater, once the county seat of Churchill County. Go through Stillwater, and soon the road turns to dirt, but it is a very fine dirt road. You will pass some sort of maintenance station, continue on [for 10+ miles] until you come to an obvious 4-way intersection [at a fenceline]. Turn right, and look for a left turn through a wire gate. Go through the gate (close it behind you) and stay on the main road. From here it is recommended to have a high clearance vehicle. The traction is good, but there are many good-sized rocks littering the road. Soon you will enter Pete Canyon, and it will be time to choose your trailhead."
The confluence of Gov't Trail Canyon and Pete Canyon (see map) is an excellent spot to park. You may choose from several routes here, as well as return from a traverse to Mt. Lincoln should you take a fancy to it.
Naturally, those all-too-familiar brown Wilderness signs somehow migrated to the area from the closest "official" Wilderness Area. They seem to warn that some activies may be regulated, but nothing specific is detailed. They suggest contacting your local BLM office for more information.
There are no camping, hiking, or recreating inhibitions that I am aware of on Job Peak --- as always in Nevada, stay off the fenced and posted private, and you will be fine.
Climbers should take into account fall big-game hunting seasons: don't duct-tape horns to your dome, and expect to see people if you go during this time.
When To Climb --- Anytime!
The comparatively mild snow conditions of the Great Basin offer an extended dayhiking season for those who don't like to gear up for major winter alpine adventures. Winter climbs should be done with waterproof boots and possibly gaiters if there is any snow.
Summer hikes should always involve lots of water, as the evaporation rates get quite high in the desert.
There are are very few water sources on this peak --- however, the "wild" horses, cows, and deer have the run of the springs, so make sure you treat it thoroughly (i.e. boil, etc)! I say always bring your own....
Times of high snow accumulation and/or muddy conditions will hamper driving efforts on the dirt road sections. Have high-clearance and 4WD (and know how to use it) if you go during a potentially stormy day.
Camping & Lodging
Camping is available literally all over the place. There are no fees for camping on BLM land. Again, stay off the private, and you should be fine!
Lodging is available in Fallon (30 miles) and Reno (70 miles).
Mountain Conditions --- are subject to rapid change
Like most Great Basin peaks, this one requires creative research and
a lot of guessing to determine current conditions!
Local weather may be found by looking up the Fallon Naval Air Station forecast --- Job Peak is 25 miles to the NE and 5000' higher than the tarmac.
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