The Bullfrog Hills from the south with Sawtooth Mtn., center.
When hiking up in the Grapevine Mountains on the northeast side of Death Valley
a sharp pyramid stands out among a group of peaks to the east in Nevada. Sawtooth Mountain is the highpoint of the Bullfrog Hills. This is a small range a few miles west of Beatty and about 12 miles northeast of Daylight Pass out of Death Valley National Park.
The name Bullfrog must have been a brand of chewing tobacco since bullfrogs themselves see very little of this high desert terrain. Or maybe it just rolls off a drunken prospectors tongue real good.
Legendary Shorty Harris and his cohort Ed Cross struck it rich there and Bullfrog and Rhyolite were bustling with gold ore fever for a few short years. The ruins of the lavishly constructed Cook Bank Building
in Rhyolite (now a ghost town) epitomize the fleeting fortunes of a boom town in the early 20th century west.
The rock of the peak is volcanic and there is a microwave tower near the summit.
This is an easy half day hike with a steep road leading most of the way up. There are expansive views of the eastern flank of the Funeral and the Grapevine Mountains, the Bare Mountains to the southeast and a straight shot about 50 miles down the Amargosa Desert to Death Valley Junction with Pyramid Peak on the right horizon.
Nearing Sawtooth Mtn. (right) on the drive in.
From Beatty go west 3.5 miles on Hwy. 374 to the Rhyolite Road. Turn right (north) and continue a mile to a fork. Go left at the fork (the right fork goes to Rhyolite). Continue 1.5 miles to a dirt road heading north towards the saddle between Bullfrog Mtn. and Sawtooth Mtn.. A service road to the microwave towers goes northeast from near the saddle. From the base of the peak this very steep (we're talking Hummer) road goes to the installaton. From there you can climb the class 3-4 rock ridge directly to the summit. The easier way is to traverse the slope to the right and scramble up easy ledges to the top.
West to the Grapevine Mtns. from Sawtooth Mtn.. Daylight Pass is on the far left.
There are no posted restrictions for this hike but watch out for old mine shafts.
Amargosa Desert from Sawtooth Mtn
You're out there folks! There are no established campgrounds in the area.
I found a good place to car camp off the road to Chloride Cliffs. From Daylight Pass go 4.5 miles east on Hwy. 374 to a dirt junction going south. This is the the road to Chloride Cliffs from the east. Take the road in as far as you like and find a place to pull off.
Or you could probably camp on the roads near Sawtooth.
Weather forecast for Beatty Nevada
Bullfrog Hills from Daylight Pass
For the 10 day weather forecast click here
Further reading on hiking desert peaks
Grapevine peaks from Sawtooth Mtn.Desert Summits
by Andy Zdon. This is the
guidebook for hikng desert peaks in California and southern Nevada.