Hole-In-the-Mountain Peak is the high point
of the East Humboldt Range in northeastern Nevada. Even just a hike into Lizzies Basin (just below the peak) is amazing. The brush disappears and there is one stream that cascades down much of the granite. There are many wildflowers and the several hundred foot high cliffs seem to wrap around the basin. The area is gorgeous in itself, but the strange pentagonal hole a little south of the true summit, visible from US 93 when the setting sun is just below the crest, is the magnet. Perhaps 15 people a year visit the summit, but not as many make it to the hole, known locally as "Lizzie's Window" after the pioneer woman who first noticed it. The usual route to the summit is class 2.
Hole-In-The-Mountain Peak from the west
The East Humboldt Range is really an extension of the Ruby Mountains and lies just to the north of them. Like the nearby Ruby Mountains, the East Humboldt Range is extremely lush and brushy when compared to the other Great Basin ranges, this is because of the wetter climate here. An interesting resource about the ranges and their climate can be found here
The view from the summit is also grand. Looking north from the summit you will be able to see Greys Peak
of the very northern tip of the range about 5 miles away. Looking to the east you will be able to see Pilot Peak
very prominent about 55 miles away. Ruby Dome
of the Ruby Mountains can be seen to the southwest about 30 miles away along with some other 11,000 foot peaks nearby. Looking in any other direction will be the classic Great Basin Desert view.
Hole-In-The-Mountain Peak has 4849 feet of prominence and comes in at #11
for Nevada peaks with the most prominence. A list of Nevada peaks with more than 2000 feet of prominence can be found here
Calico Wall - Seen on the hike up
From Wells, Nevada (16 miles):
Drive south on US 93 from Wells, Nevada for 5.25 miles, and take a right on signed state road 232 west. This road heads directly west for almost two miles then takes a turn to the south. At just over 8.5 miles from when you turned onto 232 you will reach a dirt road signed "USFS Weeks Access.", take a right and head west on it. Coordinates for this turnoff are: N 40.9331 W -115.0320 (WGS 84). The access road is 2.8 miles long until you reach USFS land. The entire first 2.8 miles is all on private property. If you have a sedan you should have no problems getting to USFS property. Though once you reach USFS property (elevation: 6800 feet) the road becomes rocky and very steep. From here on up, if you're looking to drive you will need high clearance and 4WD.
Now that you've entered USFS land, continue up this "main" road for another 1.5 miles and gaining 1500 feet of elevation. The road ends and a small trail heads up the slope in front of you. This is the "trailhead".
If you are coming in from the south on US 93, I would recommend driving up to the paved portion of Nevada State Road 232, mentioned above. If you notice on the maps, state road 232 loops back around to US 93, but this part of the road is dirt and rather bumpy for several miles, and you will probably save more time being able to drive faster on a paved road.
Red Tape & USGS Quads
Hole-In-The-Mountain Peak resides in the East Humboldt Wilderness
and is part of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
. Please follow wilderness area rules. No permits are required. There are no fees.
Humboldt Peak(NV) (1:24k)
Tent Mountain(NV) (1:24k)
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
1200 Franklin Way
Sparks, NV 89431
When To Climb
The best time of the year to hit the peak would be July through late September. This range is unusually wet for the area, while surrounding Great Basin peaks might not have that much snow, the Humboldt Range typically has much more.
The access road is not gated, therefore access should not be restricted to the area during the winter. Avalanches are a threat to this area; if you are planning a winter ascent you should check with the Forest Service for current snowpack conditions.
There is limited camping from the access road in. The first few miles of the access road is private property and camping is not allowed. Once inside National Forest property, there aren't that many options, there are a couple turnoffs that go to Leach Creek. One pullout right before the 4WD Trailhead, and camping at the trailhead is also a possibility.
If you are looking for a developed campground, your best bet is Angel Creek Campground, located 20 miles away. For information about the campground check here: Angel Creek Campground
A predicted forecast for the area can be found here
Local weather for Wells, NV can be found here