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Ray Benchmark (NV)
Mountain/Rock

Ray Benchmark (NV)

 
Ray Benchmark (NV)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Nevada, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.82120°N / 115.0174°W

Object Title: Ray Benchmark (NV)

County: White Pine

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 9249 ft / 2819 m

 

Page By: Dean

Created/Edited: Jun 27, 2013 / Jun 18, 2014

Object ID: 854239

Hits: 668 

Page Score: 79.78%  - 11 Votes 

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Overview

 
Ray Benchmark (NV)
Greg on the summit


How would it strike you to be the first people to climb this peak in 9 years?  Well, that is what happened when Greg Jagielski and I ventured out to do  this isolated Nevada prominence peak and found no one else had been here in a long time, not even the usual hunter.  The only other names in the register was that of John Vitz who had placed the register 9 years prior to our visit and Tom Roundtree who also visited in 2003. We were amazed by that so here is a truly rarely visited peak for your consideration.

While not high in the Nevada prominence list, it comes in at #145 on that list.

Getting There

 
Ray Benchmark (NV)
Ray BM from the SE

You need to find your way to highway 93, the highway that goes between Wells and Ely.  At a turnoff for the small community that once was the very active mining town
of Cherry Creek,  take the pavement right into that town. It is 8 miles of pavement.  Once in Cherry Creek, look
for the main road that heads south towards Egan Canyon.  It is a good road (dirt & gravel) and take that through Egan Canyon and head
south to a junction with a road that heads up towards Telegraph Peak. It
is about 7.5 miles to this point. Stay on the main road for another 0.4mile and watch for an unsigned turnoff to the right.  This is the Black
Canyon road and is rougher than the roads you've been on to this point.4WD isn't necessary but high clearance is. It is roughly 10 miles via
Black Canyon to get to the trailhead turn off mentioned below. 



On the way to the turn off, are these key landmarks (lat/long nad 27)

39.8995  114.8852  Cherry Creek

39.8200  114.9448  Telegraph Canyon road (this road is signed)

39.8166  114.9521  Black Canyon road (east entry - not signed)  

We found an old jeep track off of the main road (Black Canyon road) and that led us a short distance to where we car camped and started our hike from. The jeep track was obvious since we knew where to look  for it, you should be able to see the old track. Use this GPS waypoint to help: 39.8185 115.0535 (nad 27) at 7240'. You can drive about a tenth of a mile up the old track (no need to drive further) and find a place to park. We actually car and tent camped up at the end of this track which put us in great position for the hike the next morning.  For the hike, continue up the old track as it works its way another 0.4 mile before it turns into a path made by horses. Don't worry, you can't drive much further than the first little bit but the
jeep track puts you in the right drainage for the ascent. 
 
Ray Benchmark (NV)
 

Route

From where we camped, we just 
followed the drainage as it ascends and when it gets toward the end of
the drainage, leave and head slightly left up the hillside, following
the ridge as it trends left and then start heading for the summit as
your GPS guides you towards it on the right. On the summit is a central
benchmark, a small cairn containing the glass jar register and some
decent views in all directions. Overall, it is about 2.25 miles and
2000 feet of elevation gain. Nothing more than class 2 and always
straightforward.  Watch out for ticks during the tick season, they are out for blood.
 
Ray BM map
 

Red Tape

This peak is located on BLM land and as far as I know there are no access problems.

BLM Ely District Office
702 N. Industrial Way | HC 33 Box 33500 | Ely NV 89301
Phone: 775-289-1800 | Office Hours: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm M-F

When to Climb / Weather

Non rainy season and non snow season.  Rain can make the roads problematic (think mud) and snow could stop you from using Black Canyon.  I do believe that  this one could be climbed in any of the four seasons but with poor weather conditions or forecast, I would save it for a sunny day (which there are plenty of in this part of Nevada)

Ely is the closest town of any size:

Find more about Weather in Ely, NV
Click for weather forecast


Find more about Weather in Ely, NV
Click for weather forecast

Camping

You can car camp just about anywhere as long as you practice leave no trace ethics.  No new fire rings please.  Lodging is available in Ely,  Wells or Wendover.

As mentioned above:  We found an old jeep track off of the main road (Black Canyon road) and that led us a short distance to where we car camped and started our hike from. The jeep track was obvious since we knew where to look  for it, you should be able to see the old track. Use this GPS waypoint to help: 39.8185 115.0535 (nad 27) at 7240'. You can drive about a tenth of a mile up the old track (no need to drive further) and find a place to park. We actually car and tent camped up at the end of this track which put us in great position for the hike the next morning.

Summit Register

As mentioned in the Overview section, this peak is rarely visited. It is always a great surprise to me to see how little attention these Nevada peaks get in many cases. While Butte and Beaver Peaks have few visitors, this one is right up there in vying for the least visited prominence peak in the state.



 
Ray Benchmark (NV) Summit Cairn with register
 
Ray Benchmark (NV) Register page
 
Ray Benchmark (NV) Register

External Links

If you come from the main highway, you will actually drive through part of Cherry Creek as you make your way to Telegraph Hill. Here's a few links to its interesting history:
Link one
Link two
Link Three
Link four (u tube video)
Link five (map of ghosts towns)

It'll add to your visit if you take the time to check out each of the links above.

To whet your appetite, here is an excerpt from "Cherry Creek, the town that time forgot"

"The Great Basin of Nevada is full of old sleepy Ghost towns that time seemingly forgot. Similarly, the same is true in regards to Cherry Creek. A few residents still linger on at Cherry Creek while the aforementioned towns have turned to dust. The “Creek” as locals call it is merely a shadow of it’s former self. Cherry Creek is now a sleepy little hamlet of approximately 24 or so hearty souls who have chosen the solitude and silence of the central SteptoeValley as a place to live. You really have to love isolation if you live in the Creek as it is 60 miles to Wendover to the north along US93 or 4o plus miles to the south to Ely along the same route. The Great Basin is filled with wide open lonely, deserted valleys where if there is no wind, you likely wont hear any sound whatsoever. The Creek wasn’t always quiet though. If you visit one of the 3 large cemeteries there you will realize that the dead out number the living, almost exponentially here. Many of the persons interred here, like John Griffin who was killed in a saloon brawl, and others who were mangled in mining accidents, met untimely deaths out here in the Great Basin. There are so many wild and interesting stories waiting to be re-told and if you look hard enough you will find them in the history of the Creek."

Disclaimer

As road conditions can change and hiking or traveling in this type of country can be inherently dangerous, the above information is provided only as a courtesy. You accept all risk and responsibility for your activities in this area and I recommend that you let others know of your plans and where you will be hiking/climbing prior to heading to this area. Be self sufficient and carry plenty of food, water and shelter in the event of a breakdown. Good quality tires are a necessity on the rough and rocky roads you will encounter as is a vehicle in good condition. Having said all that, have a good trip and please let the author of this page know of changes that you encounter.

Images

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