OverviewOphir Hill lies within the Virginia Range in Storey County, Nevada. While not the tallest peak in the range; that title belongs to Mt. Davidson (7,864 ft), just ¾ mile to the southeast, the fantastic views compensate. Situated about 12 miles to the east of the Sierra and with no points higher between, the views are outstanding. The Sierra aside, fantastic 360° views encompass the Virginia Range, the entire Reno metro area, the Washoe Valley, much of the Pine Nut Mountains. Further afield, Mt. Grant, the Carson Sink, Stillwater Mountains, Tule Peak and dozens of other landmarks are visible. On a clear winter day, one may be able to see over 100 miles.
Unfortunately for Ophir Hill, these unobstructed sightlines have also caught the attention of the telecommunications companies who have transformed the summit into a small jungle of radio towers.
Most visitors to the peak, phone company workers aside, pass by Ophir Hill on their way to Mt. Davidson. A very easy and short (1 mile) ridge connects the two summits. Ascending from Virginia City via the Spanish Ravine Route, traversing over to Mt. Davidson, then descending the east slope of Mt. Davidson back to town, one would cover a mere 3 miles with approximately 1,700 of elevation gain. If anything, the hike is a fair workout and plus you can say you hit two named summits on your Mt. Davidson hike. So, why not?
Getting ThereFrom Reno: Take US-395 south to Gieger Grade Road (NV-341) and go left. Continue about 13 miles to Virginia City.
From Carson City: Take US-50 east for about 7 miles. Turn left on NV-341. After 3 miles the road splits into NV-341 and NV-342. Both roads end in Virginia City with NV-342 passing through Gold Hill.
From the east: Approximately 18 miles west of Silver Springs and 6 miles east of Dayton, the Six Mile Canyon Road meanders its way to Virginia City.
The Trailhead: The most straight forward route to Ophir Hill is via a network of old roads along the Spanish Ravine.
The trailhead for this route lies at the foot of Mt. Davidson, just below the city water tanks. From Main Street head west on Taylor Street which becomes Stewart Street. Shortly after this name change, take the first left on Greg Street. This street takes you to the foot of the water tanks and to a small city yard. There is parking for maybe 4-5 cars. See the Spanish Ravine route page for more detail on the hike.
Red TapeNo Permits required. Be sure to obey all no trespassing signs you may encounter.
Camping and LodgingThere are limited developed campsites in the area. Much of the Virginia Range is private property so be mindful when making your impromptu camping arrangements away from the main roads.
There are ample places to stay either in Reno or Carson City, both of which are short drives from Virginia City.
ConditionsDue to the relatively sparse precipitation in the high desert, Ophir Hill and indeed many Nevada peaks can be climbed year round. As you can see from the photos, snow can be present in the winter months. Summers can be very hot. Be sure to bring plenty of water as there is none on the hike.
You may be able to get a feel for the conditions by looking at the Virginia City Webcam.
EtymologyOphir refers to a region mentioned in the Bible from which King Solomon was supposed to have received cargos of riches.
See Wikipedia - Ophir
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