OverviewLong BM is a summit in the Flowery Range, and offshoot of the Virginia Range of Northwest Nevada. Is rises to the south above Long Valley, hence where it gets its name. There are actually two summits at what appears to be identical height about 350 yards apart. I would classify both the eastern and western summits as the same height. Both are easily reachable, and just 5 minutes from each other.
Views from these summits are very nice, with mountains on all sides, including views of the Virginia Range and Flowery Range, the Sierra Nevada, the Pine Nut Mountains, and the Pah Rah Range.
Access issues complicate the most direct route, however, there is a route that starts on BLM land that provides a reasonable alternative where it can be climbed in about 5 miles round trip. This route is described below. More details on the most direct route are included in the Red Tape section.
Flowery Peak and the spectacular Sugarloaf rock formation to the south are also good hikes in the immediate vicinity if you want to add mileage.
The best time to hike up Long BM is probably late fall (November, December) and late winter/early spring (February, March, April). During summer, temperatures are far too high. The area gets pretty snowy during the heart of winter.
Getting ThereFrom Reno, Nevada take 395 to exit 57B, or take exit 61 (Virginia Street) and drive south. Either way leads to Highway 341, the Geiger Grade. The Geiger Grade is a mountain pass road from Reno to Virginia City. It winds through the hills of the Virginia Range for about 15 miles after leaving Virginia Street in south Reno. Once in Virginia City, look for signs to Six Mile Canyon Road. This is a narrow paved road that leads from Highway 341 to US Highway 50 in the Dayton Valley. The parking area is a dirt road about 1 ½ miles down the road from Virginia City. The dirt road is located on the north side of the Six Mile Canyon road (left side of the road if coming from Virginia City). Find a place to park on the dirt road, just past the pavement.
Route InformationFollow the dirt road as it heads straight north. About 1/3rd of a mile up the road, several dirt roads cut to the right and up the slope. Follow these roads as they wind northeast up the hillside. There is a point about ½ mile up where the road has a u-shaped turn. Just when the road turns back the other direction, another road heads to the left side of Flowery Peak, the mountain's summit above the road.
After about ½ mile and 335’ of elevation gain, you reach a saddle between two pointy summits, just north of Flowery Peak. Continue on the road. Head to the left of the pointy summit to the north. The road descends about 100’ in ½ mile and ends at a T-junction. Long BM is rising just above about 730’ higher. You have to walk straight up. From here it requires about 3/4 of a mile to reach the top and hike to both summits. Descend the way you came.
All told it is about 5 miles round trip, with a one-way elevation gain of 1600’. Add Flowery Peak and it becomes 6 ½ miles round trip and adds just under 700’ more of elevation gain.
Red TapeThere is no red tape hiking from the main route. Just drive slowly down Six Mile Canyon Road, because the speed limit is 20 MPH for the first ½ mile or so. The road is also pretty windy. The parking area described above is on public lands. There is a sign warning people not to target shoot in the area; and interestingly enough, there are plenty of empty shells not far from the sign. The BLM boundary does not extend fully to Long BM, but there should be no signs indicating private land if approaching via this route.
There is a more direct route from Lousetown Road which runs directly north of Long BM. The problem here is that Lousetown Road is part of a private residential area that is technically off limits. Lousetown Road and Cartwright Road, which both are accessed by Highway 341 (Geiger Grade), are connected via this paved loop. So, if someone was to go to a house party at one of these residencies, they would not be in violation of trespassing. Same if you were asked by a real estate agent to take a look at some property currently for sale (there is a lot of it in this area). Thus, if you wanted to be perfectly safe, you would probably need permission from one of the many residents in the area, or hike with one of the residents in the area, or talk to a real estate agent in Virginia City. Long BM itself is not technically within this residential area, so it should not be considered off-limits; just accessing it from Lousetown Road is the problem.
Once on Lousetown Road, there is a non-descript dirt road on the right hand side about 1 mile from Highway 341, past a wooden house with a windmill. As of December 11, 2010, there were no signs indicating the area is off-limits, besides the sign at the entry to Lousetown Road. It only took about a mile to get to the top from a parking area on the dirt road past the wooden house with the windmill.