Watch out for roadblocks!
Juniper Mountain is the highpoint of the Sahwave mountain range. It is ranked #75 on the Nevada 2000ft prominence list. Do not confuse with Juniper Peak(7209ft)which is ranked #149 on the Nevada P2k list and is located about 30 air miles south in Churchill county near Fernley.
Juniper Mountain is a typical desert peak with sagebrush, scattered juniper trees, far reaching views and plenty of solitude. Hiking companions may include coyotes, wild horses, pronghorn antelope, chukar, mountain bluebirds and often cattle.
During the 1950's the Sahwave range was a disputed area that the navy attempted to procure for a bombing range, the acquisition never materialized and the area is under Bureau of Land Management(BLM) jurisdiction. More information is available at the www.blackrockdesert.org
Spring and Fall would be the best seasons to climb. Summer would bring extreme temperatures, little shade and no water. In the winter, driving the roads would probably be the most difficult part, and though it is a desert peak, prepare for snow.
Start of Ragged Top road Road sign off I-80 Toulon Mill Ruins
There are several ways to get to Juniper Mountain, all involve at least 20 miles of dirt roads. The approach described here is suitable for a 2WD vehicle and even a sedan could make the drive with good tires, careful driving and dry
From interstate 80 take exit 93, signed Toulon, where you will see mill ruins just to the south, set your odometer. Head west on Ragged Top Road which is graded gravel and dirt after a very short section of pavement. To the west up on a ridgeline are powerlines, that is the pass the road climbs to in about 6 miles (elev 5760ft). Descending into Granite Springs valley you pass another set of powerlines in 8.5 miles, then go right at a y-junction in 9.2 miles, from here the road becomes hard-packed sand and is suitable for higher speeds, but watch out for scattered sharp stones all along the drive. At 19 miles is the junction with county road 2058, also hard-packed sand, turn right (north) and drive about 7 miles then park alongside the road. This is the start of cross country travel to the base of the mountains' east side.
Another option, requiring a high clearance vehicle, would be to continue west at the junction with CR 2058 for another 11 miles to the junction with BLM Rd 2084, turn right (north) to access the west slopes of the mountain. According to topographic maps, a jeep road climbs to South Juniper Spring which is within 600ft of the summit on the west side and would be an easier climb then east side slopes.
As with all desert travel, it is recommended to bring 2 spare tires, extra fuel and water. The BLM publishes a Northwestern Recreation Guide with information on travel and regulations for this area. www.nv.blm.gov
Juniper Mountain is located on BLM land, however exit 93 through the Granite Springs valley is a checkerboard of BLM and private land. There are no posted restrictions if you travel on the county roads.
BLM regulations apply.
Car camping or tent camping on BLM land unless signs state otherwise. Nevada state law prohibits camping within 300ft of springs and waterholes used by wildlife or livestock. Water from creeks etc. is probably contaminated, cattle droppings are virtually everywhere on this mountain,
bring plenty of water. Contact the Winnemucca office of the BLM at 775-623-1500
for further details.
Nearest lodging and fuel locations from Toulon are in Fernley about 40 miles south on Interstate 80, or Lovelock, 15 miles north on the interstate.