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No. 61 Wahguyhe Peak (8,628') Nevada

This guide is based on a Sage article by Bob Michael.

Topo Map: Wahguyhe Peak 7½
Coordinates: Lat 36 56 22 Lon 117 06 13
Trip Stats: unknown


Use the same approach -- across Sarcobatus Flat to Phinney Canyon -- as Grapevine and Palmer, but we park down the canyon at about 6,400'.


The brutally steep route goes right up the NW flank of the NE-SW-trending summit ridge. (Any route to this ridge from further up the canyon looks unbearably steep.) You hit the summit ridge at about 7,900'. From here, the summit is a mostly gentle walk about I mile SW through a splendid pinon forest.


The "Von Schmidt Line" sounds more like a WW I trench perimeter in the Ardennes than anything in our desert. But, a glance at a topo map spanning Nevada-California border reveals it to be a "ghost" boundary... the first survey, in 1873, of this frontier, A later sure vey, the one still used, made California ever so slightly smaller, so that in the Death Valley region the 1873 line is a little less than a mile inside Nevada. I never dreamed I would find a relic of that survey.

8,628' Wahguyhe Peak, second highest in the Grapevines, is a picturesque pointy summit that is definitely superior to Grapevine Peak, on the List as the range summit even though it is a rather uninspining rounded lump. Wahguyhe is especially handsome viewed from the area of the Stovepipe Wells Dunes.

On the crest of the ridge is an intact monument from the 1873 survey -- a rock cairn holding a carved square wooden post. Although weathered, the carving was still legible -- "CALIF" facing southwest, "NEV" facing northeast, "1873" to the southeast, and "420 (something -- miles?)" on the northwest side, Aside from abrasion from countless storms, the post was exactly as the surveyors walked away from it 127 years ago, when the last embers of the Civil War had barely cooled. How many of these could be left? Surely, any one in an easily accessible spot has long since been stolen. Storms and gravity have collapsed others; those in forested places where there have been fires have probably burned.

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Updated: February 9, 2012