Granite Mountain as seen from McKinley Pass road.
Yes, another mountain with the name of Granite but it is what it is, a name that is commonly attached to mountains in the west. This Granite Mountain is near Lovelock Nevada and with a prominence of about 2850', it is attractive to those who are interested in the prominence peaks of Nevada, with this being the 76th on the list
Rarely visited outside of hunting season, this one has nice accessibility thanks to good roads that lead close to the base of the mountain. Mining seems to have been the main activity in this area and the roads were put in to access the mines. An old mine shaft (be careful) is not far off of the road at one place so it is wise to keep alert. It is still a long way from Lovelock, the closest town so a sturdy vehicle is needed if you choose to go as far as you can on the jeep road which is in pretty bad shape, particularly the section that leaves the main road.
| |A distant goal
| |We're heading there
| |Working up the ridge
Take the paved Coal canyon road from I-80 about 6 miles north of Lovelock and go about 13 miles to a signed turnoff for McKinney Pass. From this turn off, it is roughly 25 miles to the Ladd and Reed Canyon turnoff which is found at GPS waypoint 40.2164 117.8276 (nad 27). The road is paved for the first 8 or so miles and becomes good gravel/dirt road which heads for McKinney Pass. Prior to reaching the pass, you'll find the turnoff into Ladd and Reed Canyons. It was marked by a sign but the road was in very rough shape almost from the get go. High clearance is mandatory although the worst section has a way around it for some of the way. For those who don't have high clearance, find a place to park at the start of this road as it deteriorates badly into a rock fest. (4WD would be nice to have if you are continuing) Parking here will add 5 or 6 miles round trip and add another thousand feet of elevation gain. Not a huge problem for those who are in good shape and don't have a burly off road vehicle to tackle the 2.5 to 3 miles of road. See Andy Martins peakbagger trip report
for more insight.
| |Summit in distance
| |Heading up
| |Getting closer
I parked at the 5900 foot level although I probably could've driven to where Andy Martin did, I was seeing that my truck was getting nervous and we decided to find a spot to park and walk from. Dennis had walked from the pallets mentioned in both his and Andy Martins trip report but that was probably the smart thing to do. One could walk the road to about the 6300' mark and then leave the road and head directly for the saddle at the 6800' level. See route map at the bottom of this page.
Once at the saddle, continue following the ridge towards point 8269. Before going all the way to point 8269, head left through sagebrush towards the summit. The summit is a pointed rocky outcropping. Following Dennis's trip report, he mentioned that there are 2 pointed outcroppings. "The first one I came to, I climbed a short distance up and then saw a ledge going around to the left. I followed the ledge and then scrambled up more short ledges and chutes to the summit. This scramble section only gains about 100 ft. The route I took is not technical and it is a bit of a stretch to call it Class 3."
The key is finding the best way up and Dennis's description is helpful. I would probably call it class three but I am not much of a rock climber these days. If solo, be cautious and the reward will be a nice summit and a register to sign. Tremendous views in all directions and more appreciation for these special Nevada peaks that are found on the prominence list.
| | Not much further
| |Al getting close
| |Summit Benchmark
It is all on BLM land so no red tape to contend with. Stay away from any mines or mine shafts you might discover.
| |Looking east from the summit
| | North | | Southeast
When to Climb
It is possible to climb or hike in Nevada just about any month of the year but I'd suggest avoiding this area if snow or rain has recently occurred.
Not many have actually signed into the existing log that is found in a glass jar in the highest cairn. It includes the names of many that I know or am familiar with since the prominence peakbagging ranks are rather sparse in Nevada at this time. Since 1995, 17 people that I know of have ascended this mountain. 5 of them in 2015.
The register was left by Gordon MacLeod and Barbara Lilley in 1995. The next person to sign in was Tom Roundtree in 2000. Another 4 years went by before John Vitz, Barbara Sheets and Donna O. signed in. Again, it was another 4 years before the next visitor, Brad Boester of nearby Fallon in 2008. It was 2012 before Bill Peters, Dennis Poulin and Jeremy Fairbanks made it there. Ken Jones visited in 2013 and Rone Moe and two friends made the only 2014 visit. This gives a feel for how seldom people climb this one so don't get stranded out here without letting others know where you are. If solo, carry a Spot or a PLB as cell coverage is not available out here.
| |Witness marker
| |Tripod of yesteryear
We car camped near the McKinney Pass road and Dennis and Andy car camped a few miles closer to the peak. There are no organized campgrounds in this area although there is a state park north of Lovelock and Lovelock offers a few motels to choose from.
Lovelock Weather 10 Day Weather Forecast
Milestone for me
This one will always be remembered by me as my 500th P2K summit. Thanks to Dennis Poulin for repeating this one and to Al Sandorff for being part of this. However, at the time, I thought this was #499 but a review of my summit list led to the discovery that I had forgotten about another peak that I had been on top of in 1992 which turned out to be a P2K peak. That was when I wasn't chasing anything but my children around from soccer games to church functions. So Dennis and Al, thanks for being there on my 500th.
A nice additional peak that you could grab if time permits is like named Granite Peak
, with 8339 feet of elevation and well over 300 feet of prominence.