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Mount Augusta (NV)
Mountain/Rock

Mount Augusta (NV)

 
Mount Augusta (NV)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Nevada, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.53980°N / 117.9194°W

Object Title: Mount Augusta (NV)

County: Churchill

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 9966 ft / 3038 m

 

Page By: Dean

Created/Edited: Jul 17, 2011 / Jul 17, 2011

Object ID: 729472

Hits: 3904 

Page Score: 89.01%  - 28 Votes 

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Mount Augusta (NV)
 

 
Ken nears the summit
The summit

Overview

A previous page for this mountain was removed by its author and so I felt it was an important enough mountain to deserve a continued presence here at summitpost.

The 19th most prominent mountain in the state of Nevada with over 4386' of prominence is a rather unknown peak in the center of the state. Located off of the "loneliest road" in the USA, highway 50, it isn't one that many people are aware of. Located nearby is the Cold Springs Pony Express station which serves as a landmark for the traveler on highway 50 as the traveler heads between Austin and Fallon. Today Cold Springs also has a bar and gas pumps where you could stop and look north over to Mount Augusta.

Getting There

From Fallon or Austin, drive to the turnoff for Clan Alpine (see map). Using streeyr's directions if you are coming from the west (Fallon):

"From the desert outpost of Cold Springs on US 50, drive about four miles north to a green sign that says “Clan Alpine 3”. Turn left, and drive west a short distance on the good road. The road then curves north, where it passes by a ranch. Continue north another two miles or so, where the road passes by another ranch. A short distance past the ranch is a cattle guard. A few hundred yards past the cattle guard is a juniper tree along the road. Very close to the tree is an unmarked primitive road that heads west. This is the War Canyon Road. The elevation here is about 5,450'."

I find it easiest to mark a waypoint and then drive to the coordinates using my GPS and so look for the waypoint on my map noted as WAR.

Continuing on with Streeyr's directions:
"Turn left onto War Canyon Road and start climbing up into the mountains. The road is rough in places, and the conditions may change from year to year. You should have a 4WD vehicle (with high clearance). The road climbs up to an elevation of over 8,200' before dropping down into the Cherry Creek Valley. After rounding Point 7800, the road essentially ends at a fence in a grass field at 7,630'. Park here. It’s about 11 miles from start of War Canyon Road to this point. Some primitive road tracks continue on through the fence, but the road really isn’t suitable for vehicular traffic."

We found that we were able to follow an old track beyond the fence and find our way to a 4WD track that led us higher up the mountain, passing through one gate we had to open and close and crossing a stream and an then old trailer that looked to still be in service. Continuing on past the trailer, the track led to a Wilderness study area sign and eventually the end of the jeep track at 8700'. If you can find your way to this point, you will find the summit is only a couple miles and 1300' above you up some steep slopes and then some relatively easy hiking. We found the clues given in a peakbagger trip report by Dennis P. to behelpful in realizing that the road continued through the grassy area to where we eventually parked (lat/long 39.5474 117.9328 8700')

Be aware that you are a long way from help so pay attention to road conditions, mud potential, and some very rough rocky areas that will challenge your tires. I carry two spares for such areas as well as an tire
air compressor. The tow charge would be extremely spendy. I will refer you to two other trip reports by those who have taken a different route to the summit of Mount Augusta.

Fallon is roughly around 67 miles from the Clan Alpine turnoff and Austin is around 45 miles away.

 
Mount August map
 

Red Tape

My belief is that this is mainly BLM land but it is possible that the road does traverse through some private property. Nothing was posted for no trespassing on the War Canyon route noted above in the getting there section.

BLM Battle Mountain District Office
50 Bastian Road | Battle Mountain NV 89820 | 775-635-4000
Office Hours: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm M-F

Camping

You can probably camp just about anywhere in this area on the BLM land. Just be sure to practice the leave no trace ethics and pack out your garbage. There aren't any campgrounds in the vacinity.

Weather

Middlegate Nevada
Austin Nevada

Our route

From our parking area at 8700 feet, we went straight up the hill and contoured our way over to the summit. Nothing technical or difficult on our chosen path. About 3 miles or less round trip and 1300 feet of elevation gain.

Below is an excerpt from Dennis P's peakbagger trip report that helped us find the correct road:

"(on the way from highway 50) We passed 2 ranches and then at about 7 miles just past a lone juniper tree turned west on an unmarked road up War Canyon. This road isn't terrible, but it does get worse the further you go. We drove a long way into the canyon and then through Cherry Valley before continuing up towards Mt Augusta on a 4WD road. Since the roads were dry, we were able to drive all the way to the end of the 4WD road at an elevation of about 8700 ft. Hiking from the end of the 4WD road was uneventful. It was easy hiking up a steep sage covered slope to a ridge and then we followed the ridge to the summit. Great views from the summit."

I recommend strongly that if you decide to summit the peak from this side of the mountain, that you study your topo maps and get an idea of how the roads work back there. We "guessed" correctly a couple times. Note the comment about "dry" roads. Wet roads might be impassable. We also drove over some marshy land which was no longer very wet when we were looking for the correct road.
 
Our route
 

Another route

From Adam Helman's trip report:
To Climb Mount Augusta
note: Coordinates use the WGS84 datum.

Zero the odometer 3 miles east of Middlegate Junction at the confluence of US Route 50 and Nevada Route 722.

Travel east and north on US Route 50. At 14.1 miles turn left (west), signed 3 miles to Alpine. Re-zero the odometer upon leaving the highway.

At 0.8 mile encounter a junction with the Old Overland Road. Turn right (north), and continue through the Alpine Ranch, driving an additional 1.8 miles (2.6 miles total from the highway) to the junction at (39.49735° N, 117.82948° W), elevation 5,380 feet, with a road heading west on your left.

Take the westbound road, driving 1.6 rough miles to a good parking spot at (39.50306° N, 117.85769° W), elevation 5,975 feet. From here the net elevation gain is 4,000 feet. There is a road leading left (south); and a decent parking location is immediately southwest of where this latter road branches off the taken road.

You are next to a wire fence and 68 road miles from the US Route 95 / Route 50 junction in Fallon, Nevada. Contemplate your isolation at night when the only evidence of humanity is the rare white or red automotive light along Route 50 many miles northeast.

Now on foot, and perhaps still before sunrise, enter Florence Canyon by hiking the road northwest. In about seven minutes encounter a side road at (39.50554° N, 117.86316° W), elevation 6,068 feet. Turn right (northeast), and hike the road to here at (39.50617° N, 117.86316° W), elevation 6,146 feet, where it ends just west of a 6,160+ foot hill.

The real work begins. Your task is to climb northwest on the obvious ridge for over 3,000 vertical feet until gaining the main, north-south ridge just 500 feet beneath the summit. You will pass over hills of elevation 6,560+, 7,562, 8,130, 8,200+, 8,522, roughly 8,700, and 9,253 feet.

However one may avoid climbing hill 8,130 feet by traversing on its south aspect. To this end I left the ridge at (39.52575° N, 117.88387° W), elevation 7,920 feet; and aimed for this saddle at (39.52841° N, 117.88838° W), elevation 7,960 feet.

There is an 8,680 foot saddle at (39.53195° N, 117.90308° W). Once there it is tempting to bypass hill 9,253 by contouring around its northern slopes. I found the brush quite annoying, and, on the descent, simply climbed about 100 feet, went over the top of hill 9253, and then descended northeast to the indicated saddle. "Hill 8700" has some 20 feet of prominence immediately east of this saddle - so allowing one to zero-in on where to head on the descent.

One reaches the summit ridge at (39.53294° N, 117.91532° W) with approximately 9,500 feet of elevation. Rather than continue to the very ridgeline, one can save some vertical gain by heading directly north, paralleling the actual ridge just to its east.

A use-trail meanders north to the summit area. On nearing the top, stay to the left (west) of the actual ridgeline: the latter is very pinnacled and guaranteed to slow your progress.

I obtain for the summit (39.53997° N, 117.91950° W) at 9,968 feet.

The necessary additional elevation gain is 300 feet, and arises mainly from the reascents of hills 8700, 8522, and 7562T. Thus the total elevation gain is 4,300 feet - to which one may add 200 feet if going over hill 9253 in both directions, and 300 additional feet if failing to make the recommended traverse of hill 8130T.

I accidentally went 100 feet above the desired saddle on the latter traverse, on the ascent; and climbed (intentionally) hill 9253 on the descent alone. Hence my total gain was 4,500 feet.


Disclaimer

This is very isolated country and you need to be self sufficient in case of vehicle breakdown or someother mishap. Cell service is spotty and undependable and two spare tires will help in case you shred a tire or two.
The condition of the roads may change and so use the information I have provided on this page at your own risk. You may not find conditions as we found them and if you venture out here alone, be sure to let someone know where you are.

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