Nugent Canyon to East Face/Ridge

Page Type
Nevada, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Contrived 3rd class

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Nugent Canyon to East Face/Ridge
Created On: Mar 17, 2003
Last Edited On: Dec 22, 2004


This route starts at the Nugent Canyon trailhead, which really isn't a trailhead at all, but rather the end of an umimproved, unmaintained dirt road. It does save a lot of the mileage that would be necessary to get here from the pavement. There is no kiosk here, no water spigot, and no snack bar - just lots of sagebrush (Nevada's state flower) and cow plop. Parking is plentiful! There are explicit directions to the trailhead on the main Pyramid page. This route involves about 3,600' of elevation gain over a little more than 3 miles of rugged, trail-less terrain.

Route Description

Leaving the "trailhead", continue up Nugent Canyon (following the cattle trails in the bottom of the canyon can be a real time and effort saver. Cows are lazy, and take the easiest route) for 1.75 miles, at which time you will be at the toe of the East Ridge. Ascend the East Ridge, keeping the major difficulties on your left as you advance. You will have left cattle signs behind, but will now see abundant evidence of wild horses, and you will likely even see some of these horses grazing on adjacent ridges. Continuing your ascent, you will soon approach the East Face, and here you may decide to make the ascent more challenging. The Direct East Face is quite steep, and is difficult 3rd or easy 4th. Be careful, the rock is often loose, and sometimes rotten. This is not Sierra granite! The East Face is exposed and challenging, and is very rarely climbed. If this all seems a bit much, stay on the East Ridge, and continue upward. The extreme southern edge of the ridge, where it meets the East Face, is a good, fun, alternate section of 3rd class. It's definitely better than staying in the trough that runs up the ridge, as this is full of loose, slippery, talus and stickery brush. At this point, you're only minutes from the top, so climb on and enjoy the view.

Essential Gear

Probably the best advisory I can give is to wear long pants, as there are unavoidable sections of brush on the route. Pack plenty of water. You will pass right by 3 or 4 springs on the way up, but the volume of the water is low, and there is ample bovine evidence around the lower of these springs, which will probably dissuade you from sampling it. If you're thinking of tackling the East Face, wear or bring shoes with sticky rubber soles. Approach shoes are a good compromise if there isn't much snow. An axe or crampons will rarely, if ever, be needed.

Miscellaneous Info

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