Friday, June 10, 2011

Hike in the Goshute Mountains of Nevada June 8, 2011

Looking south from the top

Today, I decided to hike to one of my favorite destinations near West Wendover, Nevada, which is the Goshutes Raptor Migration study site in the Goshutes Mountains. The view from the top is one of the best in eastern Nevada with 11+ mountain ranges visible in a fabulous 360 view. The range is a major flyway for migrating raptors and during the fall Hawkwatch International conducts banding and aerial surveys.

Directions: From West Wendover travel south on 93A approximately 15 miles until you see a NDOT station on the right side of the road (a pair of binocs will also show the turnoff). Follow the main dirt road straight back into the mountains going over small hill. Follow the pair of binocs to the trailhead. The turnoff for Goshute Peak Trailhead is shown in the picture below. From 93 A it is six miles to where the trail starts.

The hike: Overall, the trail is three miles one way and gains 1500 feet in elevation. It starts off on an old two track going into the Goshutes Peak Wilderness Study Area. After a half mile to mile the trail leaves the canyon and climbs steeply by switchbacks to the site. The views are spectacular the whole way. Vegetation consists of Limber pine, Whitebark pine, White pine and maple in the canyons. Keep your eyes out for raptors especially during the fall. On this particulary day Nevada and I chased a storm out of the mountains making for spectacular desert scenes.

The storm over the mountains two miles from the trailhead. As I was leaving and going back to town.
My favorite desert scenes; the clouds of an isolated storm
Looking north from the Hawkwatch site
One my favorite pics of Nevada except for the jeans in the corner of the pic
Another pic of desert country. This time looking southwest.

Needlepoint hike Wendover, Utah June 6, 2011

The view towards West Wendover

Today I decided to hike up a peak in the Leppy Hills called Needle point. It has no snow on it and is close to where I live in West Wendover, Nevada, making it a nice early season hike.
Directions: I started my hike at the Wendover Cemetery near Anna Smith Elementary School. To get to the cemetery take N. Arrien Blvd away from the casinos (main part of West Wendover). The road will gain elevation on its way to the cemetery.
The hike: There is no formal hiking trail up Needlepoint but one can follow dirt roads most of the way up the mountain. I left my car and walked around the outside of the cemetery keeping the mountain on my left. I continued walking through the desert on an ATV road to the north side of the mountain. Here there is a little used dirt road that goes most of the way up the mountain. From its end is about 50-100 feet of skree slope hiking to the top. The trip is no more than two miles one way with moderate elevation gain (600 feet). At the top the wind was blowing extremely hard; making it tough for me to stand up. In fact at one point it blew me over.
Skree slope hiking at the end of the dirt two track
Looking through the "needle point" near the top
The wind kicking up dirt near West Wendover Elementery school