Place Name: Douglas County
Place Description: State: Nevada
Elevation: 9,541 Feet
Prominence: 3,477 Feet
Elevation Gain: 3,546 Feet
Lists: Tahoe-Ogul, Great Basin, Nevada Peaks Club, Western States Climbers
An Ogul & Great Basin Trifecta
The Pine Nut Mountains in Nevada offer a unique peak bagging experience, a Tahoe Ogul Peak and 3 Great Basin Peaks. A crazy network of roads can get you close, but we are all here to hike anyway!
- Easy road walking
- Three peaks
- Beautiful country
- Rough roads
- 4×4 and high clearance required
- Could be busy with OHV traffic
Sitting just west of the Carson Valley and across from the Sierras, Nevada’s Pine Nut Range May not look like much.
What you don’t see from the west is just how beautiful this range is, highlighted by Mount Siegel at 9,451 feet. In addition, two other nice peaks – Galena Peak and Oreana Peak can be added on to make this a nice trifecta!
The Pine Nuts can be reached from Gardnerville in the west or from Smith Valley in the east. We decided to drive in on Red Canyon Rd from the east.
This road gets rough and bumpy fast, but that’s not much problem for any high clearance vehicle. What is a problem is the encroaching brush. You will scratch the hell out of your vehicle. No way around that.
We followed the road up to 7000 feet and parked where another road comes in and forms a junction. We would later walk out that road on the way. That road is beat up bad should not be driven.
There are a lot of roads back here and 90% of the day you will be walking on one. From where we parked, I definitely could have driven my Tacoma higher and further. In all honesty, I think I could have driven to the Oreana summit.
If climbing in this direction, you will summit Oreana Peak first. At 9,316 feet, you get great views to the east and across the valley to Galena and Siegel. All three peaks are on the Great Basin Peak List and is one of the chances on this list to triple up in a day.
After leaving Oreana, you will need to lose elevation and cross the valley. We went for Galena Peak first. After dropping to the valley, a very steep road leads to the ridge. From here scrambling along the ridge leads you to a metal pole at the summit and great views to the west.
Mount Siegel is the main prize on this hike since it’s a Tahoe Ogul and Great Basin List Peak. Following the ridge from Galena drops a short bit, passing a mining claim on the way to Galena Saddle.
From Galena Saddle, follow the ridge to the giant rock cairn and enjoy the amazing views.
The return drops another steep road back down to the valley below. A long walk down more road creates a big loop and eventually leads to where we parked.
The Final Word
Hiking in the Pine Nuts treats you to solitude, beauty, and wildlife. In fact, we saw a bear, coyote, and deer on this day. It’s a long day of hiking, however, the right vehicle and right driver could easily cut this is half.
I’m assuming this range can be very hot in the summer, so I would recommend completing this trio of peaks in the spring or fall.