Place Name: Esmeralda County
Place Description: State: Nevada
Elevation: 9,450 Feet
Prominence: 4,083 Feet
Elevation Gain: 2,562 Feet
Lists: Great Basin Peaks, Nevada County Prominence, Nevada Peaks Club, Desert Summits Book, Great Basin Range5 High Points
A P4K That No One Seems To Viisit
Looking for solitude? You have come to the right place! Piper Peak is a beautiful hike in a little known area of Nevada.
- Wildflowers and wildlife
- Dirt road is pretty easy to drive
- Great views of the White Mountains
- Middle of nowhere
- Radio tower across from summit
- Long drive to get there
In a state loaded with prominent peaks, one that seems to get overlooked is Piper Peak. Just across the Fish Lake Valley from White Mountain Peak, Piper Peak stands at 9,450 feet. The 4,083 of prominence and spot on the Great Basin Peak List had me ready to give it a try. With a bigger hike planned later that weekend, this would be a great warmup and I met up with some fellow Peak Baggers to go after it.
Driving to the trailhead of Piper Peak is a fairly long and dusty. First off, you need to find your way to Dyer, NV which isn’t in the most convenient area either. Turning off NV-264 onto Eagle Rd will get you started. This road is high speed dirt. Eventually you will make a left onto McAfee Canyon Rd. which is in very good shape as it enters the canyon. It is extremely dusty. The last ¼ mile to the trailhead was washed out so we parked in flat area off the main road.
We started off on the remainder of the road before it petered out and the terrain started to climb. The first mile gains around 1,100 feet and runs into a rocky area that requires a little class 2 action. After the forested section on the lower half, it opens into high open plains with gradual gain. The Silver Peak Mountains are actually very pretty. During the hike, I found lots of obsidian chips and a broken arrowhead (my first ever).
Shortly after, I spotted 4 mule deer near the summit.
Coming up the plains, there is a large flat valley and the summit bumps are on the right. The first bump is higher and holds the register. The second bump has the benchmark. The views are fantastic with the White Mountains straight across the valley and all the way down to Whitney. Looking north you can see all the way to Arc Dome.
Hiking back down to the truck was easy and uneventful with one steep rocky section to navigate.
The Final Word
Overall, this is a fun half day hike that any skill level should be able to handle. Just remember, this area is very remote and you should always take precautions in case of an emergency. It’s more than likely you won’t see another soul in the area.