Mount Pisgah is located in the Goshute Mountains about 24 miles south-southwest of West Wendover, Nevada. Pisgah is the Hebrew word meaning a “high place.” At an elevation of 8,999 feet and with a prominence of 1,175 feet, it is the third highest summit in the range, which runs north-south for 35 miles. Goshute Peak, the range’s highest point at 9,609 feet, lies 5.4 miles to the north.
Mount Pisgah is situated in the 69,770-acre Goshute Peak Wilderness Study Area (WSA), administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Dense piñon-juniper woodlands dominate the lower elevations, transitioning to mixed conifer forests at the higher elevations.
The summit provides a commanding view of a vast landscape sculpted by a host of mountain ranges and valleys. Ultra-prominent Pilot Peak lies 43 miles to the north. To the east in neighboring Utah are the salt flats of the Great Salt Lake Desert.
Goshute Raptor Migration Area
The majority of visitors make the trek to Mount Pisgah not for the great summit views, but for a different kind of view instead. Along the route of the Intermountain Flyway, this area boasts one of the highest concentrations of raptors in the western United States and Canada.
HawkWatch International (HWI), based in Salt Lake City, Utah, began raptor migratory studies in the Goshute Mountains in 1980 and have maintained standardized annual counts since 1983. Typical counts range from 12,000 to 25,000 for as many as 18 species of raptors. HWI’s camp, manned from August 15th to November 5th each year, is just below Pisgah’s summit. This project and the dedicated people involved can afford visitors with a rewarding and unique learning experience. Please visit their website for more information.
A BLM sign at the parking area reads:
WATCHABLE WILDLIFE SITE
GOSHUTE RAPTOR MIGRATION AREA
THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAINS DIRECTLY AHEAD FORM THE GOSHUTE RAPTOR MIGRATION AREA, SITE OF THE LARGEST KNOWN CONCENTRATION OF MIGRATING BIRDS OF PREY IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES. HAWKWATCH INTERNATIONAL, A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO THE STUDY OF RAPTORS, IN COOPERATION WITH BLM, CONDUCTS AN ANNUAL COUNT AND BANDING OF THE BIRDS EACH FALL FROM LATE AUGUST THROUGH OCTOBER.
IT IS COMMON DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE MIGRATION IN SEPTEMBER TO OBSERVE OVER 200 HAWKS, EAGLES AND FALCONS IN ONE DAY. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE COUNT AND BANDING STUDY IS TO INVESTIGATE THE MIGRATION PATTERNS AND POPULATION TRENDS OF THE BIRDS. THIS INFORMATION IS ALSO VALUABLE TO BLM SINCE THE RAPTORS ARE LONG RANGING AND AT THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN, MAKING THEM EXCELLENT INDICATORS OF THE HEALTH OF HABITATS ADMINISTERED BY BLM AND OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES THROUGHOUT THE WEST.
FROM THIS POINT ON, YOU WILL BE TRAVELING WITHIN THE GOSHUTE PEAK WILDERNESS STUDY AREA, AND NO MOTOR VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED BEYOND THIS SIGN. PLEASE - DO YOUR PART TO PRESERVE THE NATURALNESS OF THE AREA BY STAYING ON DESIGNATED TRAILS, PACKING OUT YOUR GARBAGE, TAKING ONLY PICTURES AND LEAVING ONLY FOOTPRINTS.
NO WATER IS AVAILABLE ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN FOR VISITORS. THE 2.5 MILE HIKE TO THE TOP IS MODERATELY STRENUOUS, WITH AN ELEVATION GAIN OF OVER 1,500 FEET. PLEASE, NO PETS.