Place Name: Esmeralda County
Place Description: State: Nevada
Elevation: 8,160 Feet
Prominence: 1,120 Feet
Elevation Gain: 1,634 Feet
Lists: Desert Summits Book Peak List
A Pleasant Surprise!
Sylvania Mountain, or what some refer to as Sylvania Mountains High Point, is one of those peaks that you don’t expect much out of. After visiting the little known Sylvania Mountains Wilderness, you will have a new appreciation. This area is absolutely beautiful and full of solitude. A must bag peak for the desert wanderer.
- Easy terrain
- Great views along the canyon
- Easy to drive approach road
- Long way out there
- Mountain lion tracks
- Would be hot in summer
When you get into peak bagging, you start to find yourself in places you had never heard of would have never ever been to. Sylvania Mountain and the Sylvania Mountains Wilderness is one of those places.
Sylvania Mountain is probably only going to be a target if you are working on the Desert Summit Books List. Even if you aren’t working on this list and you are in the area, this is a great hike to check out!
The main way to get here is by driving down NV-266 which is a paved highway through Esmeralda County. You will head east from the Fish Lake Valley and turn right onto Sylvania Mine Rd. Although this road is dirt, it is in great shape and passable to all cars. No clearance needed.
Drive this road about 4.1 miles to a very large turnout along the road. Park here and start hiking cross country.
While there are no official trails out here, there is a pretty evident use trail most of the way. After a short forest walk, the trail opens up and places you onto the rim of Sylvania Canyon. This is a very deep canyon and absolutely beautiful when you first see it. The views extend down into Eureka Valley of Death Valley National Park.
There are quite a few ups and downs along the rim before crossing over at a small saddle to another mountain. This area puts you back into the forest and the trails disappear. Just start working your way through the terrain which is sometimes rocky and brushy. There are ways around all of this.
Eventually you will pop out above the trees onto a ridge with huge views to the east.
We found two summit areas and tagged them both. The views up here are quite beautiful.
You can see out to the Sierras, Eureka Valley, Last Chance Mountain, and Chocolate Mountain, which we tag later that day. There was cool Joshua Tree on the summit. Didn’t think these grew this high in elevation.
The Final Word
If you find yourself in this remote area of the country, this is a spectacular area to visit. We were pressed for time with Chocolate Mountain on the agenda later that day which means we didn’t get to visit the Sylvania Mine or ghost town.
There are so many cool peaks in the area and this can be turned into a great 3-4 day trip knocking off desert summits in the Spring and Fall.
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!