Granite Mountain, Nevada

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For a 'flower hike', Granite Mountain offers a variety of climbing challenges

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Jasmine was being punished: she had to hang out with Mom and Dad all day. So Dad went to the computer and piled though files until I came up with an idea from way back, Granite Mountain in the Santa Rosa range of Nevada. Back in 2005 I climbed Santa Rosa peak and wanted to come back for Granite.

It was a long drive down from Boise. Including time lost at breakfast at Rome Station, Oregon's 55mph speed limit, and then the 25 miles of rough dirt road up Canyon Creek and over the range, it was almost 5 hours. But such a beautiful drive!

The pic is Chocolate Mountain.

Chocolate Mountain

When we got to Hinkey Summit, we turned onto the jeep road. From here, it was a question of how far up we could get in the Suby. We quit after only 1/2 mile. It was almost entirely doable, but it was a gorgeous day- why drive?

Hinkey Summit

Another reason for heading to Nevada: by moving south we got out of the heat and thunderstorm activity in Oregon and Idaho. As we left the car it was just 82° with a light breeze. Not a cloud in the sky. So after buttering up with sunscreen, we hit the road.

The summit comes into view in less than 20 minutes.

Road

Then the road flattens out for a bit, gains some more, crosses a marsh (not passable in the Suby until it dries out more) then up more steep terrain. This is on the verge of being too steep for the Suby, but otherwise not too bad- narrow to be sure, and rutted/tilted, but not terribly rocky.

Overall, a really nice surface to hike on.

Upper road

When the road ends at a wire fence, you just follow the fence line up the hillside. When the fence disappears, keep heading uphill and you'll end up at the summit 'tower' with about 300' of elevation to scramble. At first it's just interspersed blocks, but then it turns to solid rock and even offers a bit of exposure on the last 30 or 40 feet.

Note: This IS Nevada, so if you click on the picture for the larger version you can see the standard Nevada UFO.

UFO

The girls felt a little intimidated by the rock, but were soon having a blast.

And the exposure was no problem (other than Mom worrying about the daughter).

 

Scramble

We hit the summit in about a little over two hours, then had a great lunch, boots off, pictures and general goofiness. We explored the radio towers and generating system, including the giant culvert established in the hillside as a storage facility (but with the door torn off).

Summit
We had a hard time finding the register. It's not very sturdy. Register
Then it was time to head down for the long drive home. The girls were very careful on the descent. Downclimb
Once we got off the rocks, we really enjoyed the scenery. Where's Waldo

When we got back to the car, we decided to complete the loop around the Santa Rosas so we could see the rest of the area and Paradise Valley.

The first thing we saw was this. Julie has had college Geology, and she assured us that although it initially looked like a cave, this is called a "hole."

Where's Waldo
There were lots more sights, but this one really caught my eye. Towers

 

From the mountains, you drive through Paradise, Nevada.

It was a long drive home, but given the great day our family had, worth the drive.

Paradise, Nevada

Mr. Natural Home | 2009 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski