A prominent peak about 40 miles south of Wells in northeastern Nevada, Spruce Mountain has an elevation of 10,262 feet and a prominence of 3,934 feet. It is the highest point on the Spruce Mountain Ridge, which runs north-south for about 21 miles, and is accessible via BLM roads that lead very close to the summit.
The drive to Spruce Mountain is scenic and void of congestion. As an added bonus, the route includes passing through the ghost town of Sprucemont on the mountain's west slope. This is considered to be the best ghost town site in the county with many structures in varying states of decay still remaining. Most of these structures date from the 1890s to the 1940s. Remnants of several other old mining camps are visible in the area. Lead-silver mining on Spruce Mountain began in 1869. Consequently, there are numerous abandoned mine shafts and adits on the mountain. There are no active mining operations on the mountain today.
Juniper and piñon pine are the dominant trees at the lower elevations, transitioning to mountain mahogany and white fir at the higher elevations.
Top-of-the-world views should be expected from a peak with nearly 4,000 feet of prominence and Spruce Mountain doesn’t disappoint. Countless valleys and mountain ranges in every direction can be seen from the summit, including the Ruby Mountains roughly 30 miles to the west, the East Humboldt Range to the northwest, the nearby Pequop Mountains to the northeast, and the Goshute Mountains to the east. Ultra-prominent Pilot Peak is clearly distinguishable about 50 miles to the northeast. In addition to the magnificent views, there are also some Bristlecone pines -- the oldest known species of trees -- on the summit. Antenna arrays, solar panels and maintenance buildings are situated in a large open area about 300 feet north of the summit.
The majority of Spruce Mountain (including the summit) and its approaches are under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management.
From Wells, proceed south on US 93 for about 37 miles. Turn left (east) onto Spruce Mountain Road; this road is marked with a sign. The remainder of the route is on dirt/gravel roads. After turning onto Spruce Mountain Road, proceed east then southeast for 7 miles, at which point you will come upon an intersection. At this intersection, Spruce Mountain Road becomes BLM Road 1526, which is not marked; continue straight at the intersection, heading in a general easterly direction before the road curves to the northeast. After traveling about 2.5 miles on BLM Road 1526, you will see what remains of the town of Sprucemont on the left side of the road. After about 3.7 miles on BLM 1526, turn right onto BLM Road 1122, which winds south for about 1.7 miles before ending at the antenna arrays near the summit. The summit is located about 300 feet further south, just a short hike.
Although the roads to get to Spruce are not too rough, the stretch on BLM Road 1122 will require a 4WD vehicle and you would probably want high clearance at some point before that. Also, please be aware that there are open grazing lands in this area, so be careful of any cattle that may be on the roads.