Boundary Peak is at the Northern end of the White Mountains and would not be climbed much except for the fact it is the highest point in Nevada, although it is not the highest peak in the area. It is part of a twin peak with Montgomery Peak
. Montgomery Peak is 200 feet higher but is located in California. Boundary Peak derives its name from the proximity to the boundary between the two states that runs down the saddle between the two peaks and was likely named by surveyors who were working in the West in the mid 1800s. The actual boundary between the two states was finally legally settled in 1980. The controversy stemmed from a survey done in 1873 by Alexey VonSchmidt. His survey placed placed the border from Lake Tahoe to the Colorado River askew with that established by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey between 1893 and 1899, putting Boundary Peak in California. If the USGS had not changed the border, Wheeler Peak
in Great Basin National Park, would be Nevada's high point. Many still consider Wheeler a more spectacular peak, I'll leave that to you.
Most people who climb this peak are doing so trying to gain another in their quest to gain the high point in as many states as possible. The most climbed route, Trail Canyon, is a strenuous walk up through a tremendous amount of scree with some minor scrambling near the summit.
No matter what direction one is coming from, you must get to Nevada Highway 264. About 200 yards south of the junction of Nevada Highway 264 and Nevada Highway 773 is a rough dirt road heading west. A 4-wheel drive is not required, but a high clearance vehicle is recommended, especially for the last mile or so. There are also a couple of small streams/washes to be crossed. Follow this road for approximately 14.7 miles to the trail head. At 2 miles continue straight at a cross road and again at 2.4 miles. At about 11 miles you will come upon the B & B Mine, here you will turn right and the quickly left. Going straight instead of the right will take you to a parking area, two rights take you to the mines buildings. At mile 12.1 there is another road junction but plainly signed. Proceed up the canyon which is a right hand turn. At about 13 miles you will pass a small reservoir and possibly some fishermen. Here the road narrows and gets quite rough.
Some people do use the Queen Canyon Road off U.S. Highway 6 just east of the California - Nevada border. It is a very rough road but passable to the Queen Mine at 9200 feet.
There are no wilderness permits required for passage into or camping in the Boundary Peak Wilderness. There is a sign-in / sign-out log in a wood box on a post at the trailhead. If you plan on camping, a campfire permit is required. This can be aquired via:
Inyo National Forest
White Mountain Ranger District
798 N. Main St.
Bishop, CA 95314
(760) 873 - 2500
When To Climb
The usual climbing season is June through October once the snow is gone. It can be a nice snow climb (some say a better and easier one) earlier in the year.
Some people camp at the small reservoir along the road. Some have camped at the trail head. One can also camp up in Trail Canyon, but there are very few level places to place a tent.. Be sure to bring plenty of water as this is a desert. The only water is a small stream with a spring up Trail Canyon but there are also alot of cows grazing, drinking the water and doing their thing in it, so be sure to treat any water from this spring / stream.
For current conditions call the White Mountain Ranger District Office at (760) 873 - 2500
Ancient Bristlecone Pines
There is a nice bristlecone pine forest on the northslopes of the East Ridge of Boundary Peak maybe a mile southwest of the trailhead. Coming back via the East Ridge allows one to descend through this forest on the way back to the car.