Mount Jefferson, Mount Patterson, Glass Mountain Ridge
By: John Backus
This Fourth of July weekend Duane McRuer and I decided to get some of the more distant desert peaks, those listed above. We took four days to do the 3 mountains, driving to the roadhead for Jefferson the first day, climbing it and driving to the roadhead for Patterson the second day, and so on. The information we acquired in doing these mountains may be useful to others.
Mt. Jefferson: From Tonopah drive east on US 6 about 5 mi. to Nevada 8-a, north on this about 12 mi. to a fork signed Monitor Valley via Belmont, about 28 mi, the last half a good dirt road. From Belmont continue on 5.1 mi. to a fork on left with a sign Meadow Canyon. Take this road, passing a crossroad one mile from the fork and a ranch 2.5 mi. further, to a fork to the left 7.5 mi. from the highway turnoff, with a sign Jefferson Summit. The road deteriorates, but should be passable for most cars; I had to back my van up the last half mile. At 1.5 mi. up this fork, there is a wide saddle, a sign Jefferson Pass Summit 9400', and ample camping space.
From this saddle a jeep road runs north toward Mt. Jefferson, whose summit is spectacularly visible. This can be driven a ways, but we elected to walk. This road runs along the left side of the fence, then crossed over and continues on the right side, then disappears. Follow the fence to its terminus at a rock outcrop, cross this, and find a faint trail that continues up the ridge, keeping to the left side of rock outcroppings. This trail goes around the left side of the false summit to the right of the main summit, into the saddle between the two, and then around the north side of the main summit to the top. It is a beautiful mountain in a beautiful area.
Mt Patterson: Drive north from Bridgeport on Hwy 395 to Fales Hot Spring. A mile further, a dirt road (very Good) forks off to the right at a gravel pit. Follow this road about 14 miles north to a right fork with sign Lobdell Lake 6 miles. This road is not suitable for ordinary cars, but VW's should have no trouble; I made it about half way in my van. At Lobdell Lake keep to the right, going around the east side of the lake, arriving finally at a cabin with sign "Sweetwater Cow Camp"; start hiking from here, if you haven't already. From here a ditch (shown on the topo as a road) contours around for about a mile to a creek; cross this and continue contouring (to the north) until you find the jeep road coming up from the lake. Follow this road to the top of Mt Patterson. (This road can he driven by a 4WD; Patterson is actually a drive-up.)
Glass Mtn: Take Hwy 120 west from Benton. About 5 miles past Black Lake, a road forks to the left, showing a sign r.i.p. "Sawmill Meadow 11 mi." One mile up this, another fork; turn right. Continue, following signs where found, to Sawmill Meadow, at the end of the road. (This is one of the best dirt roads I have ever driven, in contrast to most of our DPS roads.)
From Sawmill Meadow, hike toward the bump visible due west. To the top of this, the going is hard but mercifully short. From this bump the summit is a quarter-mile further west. It is a short climb-3 hours round trip- but the view of the Sierra and the peak from the summit is spectacular.
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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