Graham Peak is the highest peak
out of the 8 named summits in the Silver Island Mountains and is located in the northern half. Like the rest of the Silver Island Mountains the area around Graham Peak is very rugged. Graham Peak and the rest of the Silver Island Mountains are part of the Silver Island Mountains Wilderness
. There are 4 named peaks in the Silver Island Mountains that are over 7000 feet and Graham Peak is by far the easiest (I think). Route finding, scrambling and elevation gain to reach Graham Peak is straightforward.
A hike to the top of Graham Peak assures solitude and excellent desert views. There is a summit register on top that was placed in 2001 by John Vitz and there are 3 entries since then as of 5/10/2007. To those wanting to get the high point of the Silver Island Mountains – the top of Graham Peak - I recommend visiting some of the other peaks in the Silver Island Mountains as well. My opinion is, the other 6 peaks give a better feel of what the range is about and will present you with more impressive scenery. The route finding and scrambling is much more challenging on most of the other peaks. Graham Peak and one of the other 6000 foot peaks can be easily done in a day.
From inside the "cave" below the summit of Graham Peak, photo by Jeremy Franchow
From the summit of Graham Peak you will have expansive views of the Great Basin Desert. Deseret Peak in the Stansbury Mountains can easily be seen to the east some 70 miles away. To the south is Ibapah Peak in the Deep Creek Range about 80 miles away. To the southwest are the Goshute Mountains of Nevada. To the west, you will have an excellent view of nearby Pilot Peak about 16 miles away. To the north is Crater Island and to the northeast is Desert Peak of the Newfoundland Mountains about 30 miles away.
Graham Peak rises 3043 feet from the surrounding Salt Flats and ranks as #37
for Utah Peaks with 2000 feet or more of prominence. Click here
for a list of Utah Prominence peaks.
These four points along its west ridge look worthy of exploration Final scramble(3rd/4th class) up the southwestern face to the top of Graham Peak
To get to the start of the 4WD trail does not require high clearance, the Silver Island Road is in good condition.
From Salt Lake City (135 miles) :
Head west on I-80 towards West Wendover, NV. Continue for about 117 miles to exit #4, for the Bonneville Speedway. Take a right and continue almost 1.5 miles where the road bends and there is an intersection. Go left, and follow the paved road with eventually turns into dirt. Continue going straight for just over 3 miles where you reach the top of a small hill (Leppy pass) and there is an intersection. Go right and follow this road alongside the Silver Island Mountains for approximately 13.5 miles to the start of the 4WD trail.
Some interesting scrambling on the way to Graham Peak
When To Climb
Graham Peak as seen from near the saddle
Fall, winter and spring are the best times to do this hike. The peak doesn’t get much precipitation therefore snow is rare in the winter. If there is snow present it won't present much difficulty, the route described doesn't cross steep terrain. However, if there have been recent storms use caution when driving to and hiking this peak. During the summer expect hot weather and bring plenty of water.
View east towards Floating Island
Throughout the Silver Island Mountain range undeveloped camping is permitted. There are no trees and no water sources in this range, with an exception of a few junipers in the north end.
If you’re looking for trees, water and a campground, the closest is Angel Creek campground, near Wells, NV. This campground is 65 miles away and about an hour drive, more information here
West Wendover, NV has many reasonably prices hotels.
Red Tape & USGS Quads
No permits are required. Please follow wilderness area rules, as Graham Peak is part of the Silver Island Mountains Wilderness
Graham Peak (1:24k)
A predicted forecast for the area can be found here
Local weather for West Wendover, NV can be found here