DESERT CREEK PEAK (8,969') CLASS 2
Location: 10 miles S of Wellington, NV
Drive: Take U.S. 395 to NV 208 east at Holbrook Junction (see Mt. Siegel, Route B, Drive), following the signs to "Yerington." Go 11.4 miles to turn right on NV Highway 338 signed, "Sweetwater Bridgeport." Shortly a sign reads, "East NV 208" "Yerington." Go straight. Come again to a T-junction signed, "NV 338 Bridgeport." Go right. Continue 0.5 mile to a dirt road signed "Desert Creek Road," also signed, "Desert Creek 10 Risue Canyon." Turn right (south), and in 4.2 miles go right at a fork. In another 1.8 miles come to the first stream crossing. Shortly come to another stream crossing. The route turns into rough road. Most will park off the road, with very little parking space available, before the third crossing.
Climb: Cross the creek, which may be quite difficult during high water, and hike south on the main dirt road up Desert Creek Canyon about 1 mile to a point where the summit is visible as a highpoint to the left. Leave the road and head up left (east) cross-country via the ridge on the right (south) of the summit, or, less preferably, up the gully. Many Pinyon pines, and then mountain mahogany, will be encountered. An antenna and solar powered facility mark the highpoint. Note: A good scree run may be taken on the descent to the west down a gully that heads somewhat to the right (north) of the ascent ridge. A quick loss of about 700 feet is obtained by doing this. The lower, side slopes of the gully that you will descend in are followed generally to avoid the many fallen trees clogging the gully proper.
Drive: Take the Risue Road from the west (U.S. 395 via Topaz Lane well south of Topaz Lake Resort) or the east (see Middle Sister, East Sister, Route A, Drive to find the beginning of this road) 18.2 miles south on NV 338 from Wellington, NV, to any point roughly south of the peak and park.
Climb: Head roughly north cross-country, bearing as well as possible for the highpoint, traversing many ridges and gullies enroute. The peak is generally visible from much of this route. This is a very brushy route, with not much to recommend it. Black Mountain (8,158') can be climbed, with some elevation loss involved, on the way to the peak.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: As with many lower elevation Nevada or desert ranges, insufficient snowfall precludes any skiing on these peaks. Also, snowdrifted, muddy roads impair any vehicle approach. However, climbing may be nicer in the winter, with consolidated snow making the terrain more passable, as compared with scree and brush.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 2,500 feet gain, 2-3 miles one way; Route B, 2,000-2,500 feet gain, 4-6 miles one way; winter ski ascent, variable.
Notes: Desert Creek Peak is part of the Wellington Hills. This is included in this guide as it offers some hiking variety. Also, it was "counted" on the OGUL list.