Place Name: Inyo County
Place Description: State: Nevada
Elevation: 7,703 Feet
Prominence: 1,343 Feet
Elevation Gain: 1,690 Feet
Lists: Desert Summits Book Peak List
Birds Eye View Of Three Valleys
Chocolate Mountain is a true triple divide peak. Located in the Piper Mountains Wilderness, Chocolate Mountain sits between the Deep Springs Valley, Fish Lake Valley, and Eureka Valley,
- Easy trail
- Great views
- Lots of peace and quiet
- Long way out there
- Snake country
- Would be hot in summer
Chocolate Mountain is a little known summit, however, this one will surprise anyone.
The summit offers up a birds eye view looking into three major valleys – Fish Lake Valley, Eureka Valley, and Deep Springs Valley. For such awesome views, one does not have to work very hard to gain this summit.
Making your way out to the Piper Mountains Wilderness is the hardest part. Even still, the route is simple. From Big Pine, CA head east on Highway 168 and drive through Westgard Pass into Deep Springs Valley. Follow the highway up to Gilbert Pass and follow a dirt road to the right heading towards Chocolate Mountain.
The road is dirt, however, it’s in good shape and passable for any car. There is small area to park at the trailhead.
The trail starts out following an old road which seems to run away from the peak. Eventually it turns and heads straight for the ridge.
Pass through a narrow gully and then start climbing up a couple of switchbacks which lead to a gorgeous view point on the ridge overlooking Deep Springs Valley.
From this point on you will head due east along a nice trail/road bed for about 1 more mile. Then a use trail to the right is picked up which will be followed up to the summit.
Chocolate Mountains summit has some of the finest views you will find anywhere. The summit block has an old milk jug housing the register that is left there by the college down in Deep Springs Valley.
Enjoy the summit views over the Fish Lake Valley, Eureka Valley, and Deep Springs Valley. Even the Eureka Dunes are in full view as is Piper Peak to the northeast, White Mountain Peak to the north, Last Chance Mountain to the southeast, Waucoba Mountain to the southwest and the Sierras beyond that. It’s quite remarkable.
The Final Word
As you can see, this little known summit offers quite the views and is worth the trip out here for any peak bagger or desert enthusiast. Getting here is a bit tedious and out of the way, however, the roads are easy and Highway 168 is a very cool drive.
There are many other peaks in the area that can keep anyone busy for a 2-3 day trip. On my trip out here we had three days and took down Sandy Point, Last Chance Mountain, Magruder Mountain, Palmetto Mountain, Sylvania Mountain, and Chocolate Mountain. There are many others in the nearby region including Piper Peak, Mount Jackson, and Silver Peak.
Dyer, NV is the closest town and has a great RV Park/Campground called Esmeralda RV Park where we camped the prior night. If you are looking for a bit of off the grid adventure, this is the area for you!