Churchill County High Point Trip Report

Desatoya Peak (9,973 ft)

Date: June 17-18, 2002
Author: Edward Earl

About 6 miles northeast of Cold Springs, where US 50 eastbound makes a very slight right turn, I turned off on the unsigned and unpaved Old Overland Road, which heads east at first and bends around gradually to the south. The first several miles are across the flat, but then the road climbs up a canyon for several more miles. My high-clearance 2WD pickup did fine, but an intrepid driver with some buddies to help push might make it in a passenger car. I arrived at Basque Summit, which is marked by two closely-spaced gates with a corral in between, in the late afternoon the day before my climb. There were several grassy turnouts in the area, and I pulled off on one and spent the night in my truck. One other way to identify Basque summit is that the road turns sharply from south to east and begins heading down.

The next morning I headed out on foot on a range road that branches off to the right at the corral. A couple of minutes later is a fork where I turned right again. The road contours around the south side of a small peak, "bounces off" the saddle on its west side, then performs a similar zig around the south side of the next bump on the ridge. Then it heads steeply up next to a fence, passing to the right of point 8043, drops down to a saddle, and then begins a long slog up to a broad saddle just north of point 9130. A short distance afterward the road turned right and headed straight uphill; I continued straight ahead on cow trails, contouring around to a saddle at 9200+ feet. From here, more cow trails headed steeply up to the base of peak 9965, around which I contoured on the east side, then headed straight up south to the main peak. There were cattle grazing along much of the route, all the way to within about 250 feet elevation of the summit.