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.
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)
jeep track puts you in the right drainage for the ascent.
RouteFrom 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.
Red TapeThis 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 / WeatherNon 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:
Click for weather forecast
Click for weather forecast
CampingYou 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 RegisterAs 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.
Update: Since our visit in 2013, Adam Helman, Richard Carey and Bob Packard visited as a group and later Dennis Poulin, all in 2014. Ken Jones made a visit in October 2015. Dennis made a GPS track and you can find it and a register on peakbagger.com
External LinksIf 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 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."