Mount Jefferson, Arc Dome


By: Ron Jones


Because I had to work on July 3, my wife and I decided on trying for these two Nevada peaks on a two day weekend. In turned out to be feasible with a long drive Friday and Sunday night and an easy drive on Saturday. We climbci Jefferson by the standard route from Meadow Canyon. You reach this by driving east from Tonopah about 5 miles to Nevada 8-A, north on this about 12 miles to a fork signed "Monitor Valley via Belmont" about 28 miles to Belmont, a former county seat, a near-ghost town with a fine old courthouse. From Belmont continue 5.1 miles to a Fork on the left: - There is no sign now but the mileage is accurate. Take this road, passing a crossroad one mile from the fork, a ranch 3.5 miles from the fork and finally another fork to the left 7.5 miles from the turnoff. This is signed "Jefferson Summit". One and one-half miles up this turn is a wide saddle marked "Jefferson Pass 9400 ft." (actually about 8600'). The route is obvious and takes 2-1/2 to 3 hours to climb.

By far the more interesting peak was Toiyabe Dome or Arc Dome as it is called by the locals. To avoid the long drive to the Reece Canyon approach from the west we decided to climb the peak from the South Twin River campground to the east. The turnoff is located 5 miles north of Carvers on Nevada 8-A north of Tonopah. The campground is small with space for 5 or 6 cars. Good water is available as the Twin Rivers run the year around. The roadhead lies at about 6500 feet.

A good trail starts from the camp following the river for a maile until it joins a larger trail coming from above. Ths route involves 8 or 10 stream crossings and we ended up with very wet boots. A better route is to climb a talus slope just south of the camp to a ridge 3 or 400 feet above. Here one picks up the larger trail refered to before. A rough trail continues on for another 4 miles or so through a heavily wooded canyon, lots of wild flowers and lillies, and past several old mines including the Tonopah and Belmont Development Company with a photogenic waterwheel and workings. At this point Jett Canyon intersects on the south side of the canyon. Stay right! In another mile or two the canyon opens up, leaving the high redrock walls reminicent of Zion and now giving wide views over steeply rolling hills. Soon you pass the remains of a corral on the left. This has been used as a camping spot for backpackers.

In another 3-1/2 miles of easy hiking through beautiful country, almost Sierra-like in places you will see Toiyabe Dome up an open canyon to the north, the first time you see the peak, but very obvious, perhaps 2000 feet above you. The route is obvious, climbing up the canyon, gaining the ridge and following to the summit. Mary Sue and I rated this route one of the three best in the DPS along with So. Guardian Angel and Cerro de la Encantada. The round trip took about 9 hours as a day hike. I hope to lead the peak this next spring.

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