Place Name: Lyon County
Place Description: State: Nevada
Elevation: 6,317 Feet
Prominence: 2,197 Feet
Elevation Gain: 1,798 Feet
Lists: Desert Summits Book Peak List
Seen By Many, Climbed By Few
Bare Mountain is one of those mountains you see when driving through the desert along US-95 south of Beatty, NV. You really can’t miss it. Climbing it is a different story with around only 50 ascents logged in the last 40 years!
- Good access road
- Great views
- Lots of peace and quiet
- No trails
- Snake country
- Would be hot in summer
With 170 peaks over 2000 feet of prominence in Nevada, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. One such mountain is Bare Mountain just south of Beatty.
Bare Mountain is close to town, passed by thousands daily on US-95, however, only gets a couple of visits per year. Likely, this is because it lies so close to bigger and better things in Las Vegas and Death Valley National Park. That said, don’ sleep on this one!
This actually isn’t that hard. Just south of Beatty, a large gravel road heads off to the east towards a mine. After a few miles, follow a road to the right that leads to saddle and large turn around area between the radio towers and Meiklejohn Peak.
Once you leave this spot, the road becomes more an off road experience as it drops down to Specie Spring and into Tarantula Canyon. Although the road is bit narrower and rougher, 4WD is not required, high clearance is.
Follow this road into the large valley, cross a wash, and park anywhere.
After finding a nice parking area in the flat valley, we took off across the open desert following a dried creek bed. There is a large rock formation on the first ridge. On the way up we went left around it despite not having any beta on the route.
The terrain up to the ridge was gentle, however, got a lot rockier going around the backside of that formation. There is some easy class 2 scrambles and the sheep trails and beds helped make it a bit easier.
Now the summit of Bare Mountain is plainly in site and we followed the lower ridge to the right of it and angled left towards the summit. Again, there are a couple easy class 2 sections before the walk to the summit.
This summit does not get much traffic at all. We were the first ones up there in almost a year. The register dates back to 1978 and there were maybe four dozen entries.
The views from the top were what you would expect from a prominent peak in the middle of nowhere. Telescope Peak looks majestic, Charleston Peak looks massive, and the desert looks expansive and desolate. US-95 looks very lonely from this vantage point. Just to the east was the Nevada Test Site.
All in all, a very worthy desert summit!
On the return, we opted to complete a loop. Following the summit ridge down to the western saddle was easy and we followed a gully right back down to the valley. The descent went quickly with minor bushwhacking and some rock hopping in the dry creek bed.
The Final Word
For me, this was a highly enjoyable hike to cap off the long drive from Gardnerville. It also serves as a great warm-up hike for others in the area. On my trip, Grapevine Peak was the main objective and what we climbed the next day.