The Bilk Creek Mountains and its Highpoint
The Bilk Creek Mountains are a narrow range of peaks just south of the Oregon border and immediately southeast of Denio in the Northern Great Basin. This range is over 30 miles in length from north to south, but the highest points in the mountain range are all clustered within a 2 mile radius of each other. The three absolute highest peaks are the unnamed highpoint, Trident Peak and House Creek Butte, each above 8000 feet.
The major attraction of this range is the unnamed highpoint which has 2465 feet of prominence, good for 105th on the Nevada Prominence List
. For the purposes of this page, the unnamed mountain shall be referred to as Bilk Creek Mountain
. As to why the most prominent peak in the range is unnamed, it may have something to do with the other adjoining peaks being more readily visible from surrounding basin highways. Since this mountain may be a drive up for you, consider combining it with other P2K's in the immediate area, Orevada View(P3K), Pueblo Mountain(P3K), Duffer Peak(P4K), or the Jackson Mountains Highpoint(P4K). Two or even three of these may be possible during an aggressive day of peakbagging.
The Highpoint in March
The best time to climb Bilk Creek Mountain is in late spring once the roads have dried out enough to travel and the creeks still have running water in them. This will be the greenest time of year, and if you're lucky you will be forced to walk the last mile to the summit rather than just driving to the top. Nearby Trident Peak and House Creek Butte can be reached from House Creek Butte with short ridge traverses making for a full day of peakbagging.
The Bilk Creek ecosystem is very similar to that of the nearby Trout Creek Mountains
. Mountains are comprised mainly of basalt with underlying granite, which is especially prominent seen protruding from Granite Mountain along Wilder Creek. Bilk Creek itself springs from the base of House Creek Butte and runs south the length of the mountain range draining into the Quinn River Valley. Valleys are lined with willow and cottonwood trees, with aspen running up mountainsides where springs are present. Basins on either side of the range are Kings River Valley in the east, and the Pueblo Valley in the west. To the south is the Quinn River Valley, with the Trout Creek Mountains bordering this range to the north.
Rutted roads near the summit
One half mile south of Denio Junction turn east on the gravel Wilder Ranch Road. If you remain on this road, ignoring turnoffs to the right and left and always staying on the most traveled appearing road it is possible to drive all the way to the top of this mountain once the snow has receded and things have dried out, although there are epic ruts the last 2 miles of the summit road. By June conditions should be ripe for driving to the summit, earlier than that expect to do some hiking.
Once you have turned onto Wilder Ranch Road, travel 6 miles to the abandoned Wilder Creek Ranch at the base of the mountain range. At the ranch you will be confronted with a Y, take a right following the more traveled road. Immediately you will pass a waterhole that will most likely be dry in the summer. You will follow this road another 10 miles up Wilder Creek to the summit. This road requires a 4x4 with high clearance, especially the last 5 miles where the road is very steep in places. In winter it should be possible to drive within hiking distance of the summit.
Red Tape - Weather
The Wilder Creek Ranch Road passes through some private ranch land, but the bulk of the range lays on BLM land. If you find any closed gates, make sure to close them behind you. This is open range, and leaving a gate open is an invitation for trouble.
Wilder Creek Beaver Dam
Fields has an RV park, other than this there are numerous small meadows along Wilder Creek where a bivy could be set. Once the weather warms up expect to encounter cattle, which may be high in the canyon once ranchers start moving them out of the basins.
Other highpoints of the Bilk Creek Mountains
House Creek Butte Black Diamond Peak Granite Mountain
Trident Peak - 8393 feet - Located 1 mile due south of the Bilk Creek HP
House Creek Butte - 8067 feet Located 1 mile SSE of Bilk Creek HP
Black Diamond Peak - 7911 feet Located 1 mile NE of Trident Peak
Granite Mountain - 7466 feet Located south across Wilder Creek