Lyon County High Point Trip Report

Middle Sister

Date: October 14, 2000
Author: Edward Earl

There are basically two approaches to this one: Desert Creek Road from the north and FR 050 from the east, both of which originate from NV 338. It appeared from my Delorme topo atlas that Desert Creek Road was paved, but it turned out to be dirt. The first 4 miles were smooth, well-graded gravel on which one can drive about 45 mph, but then it enters a canyon and becomes rough. My rented Dodge Neon, which was pretty low clearance, made it across a couple of stream fords, but a third ford looked too deep to be safe, so I bailed out and tried the east approach, which is good gravel for the 4 miles I needed to get a good approach. I parked the vehicle at 7000' on a large pullout (which actually could have made a good campsite) on the right side of the road just before it makes a sharp right turn and starts up an incline.

I walked up the road about 200 yards to where it turns sharply left and a jeep track branches left. I continued up the jeep track through some gates (none of which were signed) for about one and one fourth mile to a corral at 7500', where the road gives way to a trail that continues up a canyon, finally topping out at 8740' at a saddle called Little Smith Valley. From here I struck off to the left (SSW) up a partly forested gully which broadened out at a meadow at 9600' just below and beyond the saddle between Middle Sister and East Sister. From there I scrambled up powdery snow-covered rocks and scree to the summit of Middle Sister, which actually lies in California. There is a nice view from the 10859' summit. The Lyon County HP at ~10580' is a small rock outcrop on the ridge about 900' NE of the summit just beyond a wooden pole marking the state line.

While on the upper slopes of the mountain, I heard the sound of off-road vehicles being driven around on the meadows below. On the return trip, there were fresh bike tracks on the trail.