A picture perfect looking solitary snow capped mountain peak does have a way of captivating one’s own attention while magically vanquishing all other thoughts. “That mountain sure does look pretty!” is just about all that can be said when seeing such a sight. After a few minutes, a realization occurs about how rare it is to see a tall mountain with a perfect pointed peak standing alone in a vast desert expanse. Pilot Peak offers visitors a chance to take in one such majestic view!
Pilot Peak is located in northeast Nevada close to the Utah border. When traveling on Interstate Highway 80, the Pilot Peak exit is about 11 miles west of Wendover. The exit ramp leads to a ranch road and the Pilot Peak Historical Marker is only about 100 yards away from the highway. Parking is no problem, because most people on the highway are too busy commuting between Salt Lake City and Reno to stop and take a look.
The Pilot Peak Historical Marker offers a wealth of information. The name of the mountain was chosen because this peak was such an easy to spot landmark for the early explorers. In fact, Pilot Peak is one of the easiest to recognize mountain peaks in Nevada. This 10,700 foot tall mountain towers over the Great Basin Desert with dramatic fashion. This landmark played an important roll during John C. Fremont’s expeditions of the west. Stories about the Donner Party and many other pioneers revolve around the Pilot Peak landmark too.
There are several hiking trails that run from the historical marker and the ranch road to the base of the mountain. Climbing Pilot Peak is an overnighter option, but the steep slopes are quite intimidating even for experienced mountaineers. Pilot Peak is listed as being one of the most popular of the difficult skill level climbs in the lower 48 states. The summit offers magnificent views of the Great Basin Desert terrain and neighboring mountain ranges. At the top there are remnants of wind breaks and a signaling post that was supposedly from the Civil War era.
Standing out in the middle of nowhere while staring at the splendid beauty of Pilot Peak does have a way of letting Mother Earth do all the talking. Thoughts of wherever you were or whatever you were doing just seem to disappear. Postcard quality photos of Pilot Peak have nearly the same effect, because this famous mountain is very photogenic. A picture of this solitary snow capped mountain does make for a nice desktop background, so be sure to bring a good camera along for the ride. When traveling on I-80 in northern Nevada, Pilot Peak definitely is a must to see!
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