Boundary Peak

18-Aug-01 (private trip)

By: Sara Wyrens


Last spring I was on an HPS trip to Joshua Tree NP where I meet Janet Howell and Michael Gosnell who were telling me about the "High Pointers Club", the goal of the club being to climb the highest peaks in all 50 states. Actually, some members take this endeavor further and climb the highest points in every county. This goal eludes me as I'm having enough trouble finding time to get through the DPS list (I have a whopping 10 peaks out of the list of 98). But since Boundary peak is a DPS favorite and the highest peak in Nevada, the next thing I knew, the three of us were putting a trip together.

The easiest way to find the way to trailhead is to turn west on the dirt road approx 100 yards south of the junction of Nevada Highway 264 and 773. This dirt road is called Trail Canyon Road but is un-marked. Follow this dirt road without turning for 10 miles or so. At this point you will have gained a bunch of elevation and passed a mine on your right. The road jogs to the right as you pass the mine but do not turn towards the mine. After descending a very red dirt road, turn right at the ambiguous junction. This road is narrow at times through bushes but a two wheel vehicle can make it. Follow this road all the way up the Trail Canyon drainage where you will find ample parking and trailhead sign. Camping is available all along the Trail Canyon drainage. Permits are only necessary if you are planning to spend the night past the trailhead sign in the Boundary Peak Wilderness. The Forest Service mentions bear activity in the area so be prepared. I think the threat of bears is small but possible. Don't' leave food in the car just in case!

It is best to start hiking by 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. Earlier is better especially when there are afternoon storm cycles. Leaving at 4:00 a.m. would not be unreasonable. Follow the trail from the trailhead sign. This trail is easy to follow for the first 2 miles but from there is anybody's guess depending upon the route one chooses. Navigation is not particularly tricky. My companions and I chose the traditional route by turning right (north) at this point to the Trail Canyon Saddle. In retrospect, I realize this is not necessarily the best route as we had to contend with very steep and loose talus (rubble actually) in moving from saddle to peak on the west side of ridge. I'm told by others that an alternative route would be to turn left where trail fades out and make your way up, possibly on the prominent ridge. As far as routes go, everyone seems to be in agreement on the best way to descend which is to ski down the steep skree bowl in hiking boots south east of peak. What fun! This skree bowl goes on for about 1,700. Don't forget your gaiters!

Some friends of mine climbed Boundary several weeks before we did and actually saw wild mustangs roaming! We unfortunately did not see this. I'm told that since then these horses are being rounded up by one the government agencies (I don't know which one) and relocated to another area. Apparently, these wild horses are interfering with ranchers in the area and eating up feed that is meant for cattle. This information is based on hearsay.

This proved to be a wonderful day for a peak climb as the whether couldn't have been more perfect and Michael and Janet made for very congenial and compatible traveling companions. My only regret is that we did not continue along the southwest ridge to Montgomery Peak (13,441'). We would have needed an earlier start time to make this possible as we were all planning to drive back to So Cal that night. 10 miles 4,000 ft gain it, 7.5' Boundary Peak NV-CA

Detailed information for visiting one or more peaks mentioned in this article can be found in the
Desert Peak Section Road and Peak Guides

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