2 DEATH VALLEY RANGES GUIDE NO. 2.21
NOPAH RANGE 6394 FEET CLASS 2
MILEAGE: 264 miles of paved road, 0.6 miles of excellent dirt, 2.6 miles of poor dirt
DRIVE/EITHER ROUTE: From Shoshone, CA drive 5.3 miles N on State Highway 178, the signed
"Charles Brown Highway", to a signed dirt road turnoff for "Chicago Valley". Turn right here and drive
0.6 miles on excellent dirt to where the road turns sharply to the right (S). At this point continue straight
(E) on a poor dirt road that starts curving N and comes to a junction in 1.3 miles. Turn right at this junction
and drive 1.3 miles to the lone tree at arid Twelvemile Spring. Park. NOTE: After a hard rain this road
can turn into a real vehicle trap, even bogging down 4WD's in the thick mud!
CLIMB/ROUTE A: From Twelvemile Spring hike 3.0 miles ESE at a 105° bearing across the desert flats
to the mouth of a major canyon that separates Nopah from its slightly lower (1946 meters) northern
neighbor, which is called Nopah Peak on the latest 7.5 minute topo. From the mouth of this large canyon
ascend the minor gully that begins at UTM 810852, taking it to 1200 meters (3940 feet) elevation. At this
point head SE up a ridge to the saddle 0.1 miles N of point 1519. Turning left (NE) at this saddle, follow
the ridge (contouring around the S side of point 1587) as it curves E and heads for the summit.
CLIMB/ROUTE A VARIATION: This route involves some high Class 3 climbing, making it a bit more
adventurous than Route A. From Twelvemile Spring hike 3.0 miles ESE at a 105° bearing across the desert
flats to the mouth of the major canyon described in Route A. Two large washes issue forth from the mouth
of this canyon. Hike to the far right (S) side of the canyon and follow that wash E into the canyon. Bearing
right at all forks, you'll come to a grayish, sloping waterfall near the 1160 meters (3800 feet) elevation level.
Climb this easy Class 3 waterfall and continue up a short distance to the crux of the climb, a 35 foot high
headwall. Climb the right side of this Class 3 wall to its top, where you'll continue following a wash to the
saddle 0.1 miles N of point 1519. Turning left (NE) at this saddle, follow the ridge (contouring around the
S side of point 1587) as it curves E and heads for the summit.
ROUND TRIP STATS/ROUTE A: 4200 feet elevation gain, 10 miles, 9 hours
CLIMB/ROUTE B: This is a longer, easier route to the summit than Route A or its variation. From
Twelvemile Spring hike 3.5 miles SE at a 12bearing across desert flats to the base of the mountain. Turn
left (NE), gaining about 1300 feet of elevation along a ridge to easier slopes near point 1371. Head N from
here to point 1519, then NE (contouring around the S side of point 1587) and E to the summit. ROUND
TRIP STATS/ROUTE B: 4200 feet elevation gain, 10 miles, 9 hours
DRIVE ROUTE C: From Pahrump (or Las Vegas), head west on the Old Spanish Trail from the 160 (signs
point to Tecopa from here. Drive approximately 17 miles. The road will bend sharply south near the start.
Park more or less opposite point 1036m on the north east, and slightly south of point 1012 on the west (see
the topo map below).
CLIMB ROUTE C: Head north west across the bajada with point 1012 and the accompanying range to
your right. You may come across faint jeep trail(s) along the way. As you get into the canyon, it will narrow
down. At approximately 1500m elevation, you will climb out of the wash to a ridge to your right. Follow
this ridge to a saddle at approximately 1700m, where you will have to cross a shallow valley to the final
ridge leading to the summit. Round trip is approximately 14+ miles and 4000’ of elevation gain.
SIDELINES
1. Pahrump Point is located within the boundaries of the Nopah Range Wilderness Area. This new
wilderness area was created as part of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994, Public Law 103-433,
Section 102 (40). The Nopah Range Wilderness Area encompasses approximately 110,860 acres of land
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Revised 1/20/18
Nopah C Route