Lyon County High Point Trip Report

1000 feet northeast of Middle Sister (10,570+ ft)

Date: June 25, 2002
Authors: Jobe Wymore and Jeanne Allen

From the intersection of NV829 and NV338 a few miles southeast of Wellington, NV, set the odometer and head south on NV338. This intersection is marked with the nice-sized Lazy W Ranches. Proceed south for 13.8 miles until a dirt road is reached on the right side of the road with a sign mentioning "050" and another brown sign with a bunch of mileages on it. This road creeps up on you so keep your eyes open for this one. Set the odometer again and turn right on this nice dirt road. At this point, Middle Sister is the nice pyramid shaped peak out right in the middle of 2 others. What a nice looking mountain! Shortly, after only 0.1 mile or so, the road will come to a "T" intersection where the left fork takes you back to pavement and a right towards the mountains. Of course, take a right unless you just want to get out of there. We drove westward on the dirt road until, at mile 3, it swung to the right and up a small grade and shortly thereafter back west. At this point, at mile 3.1, look for a dirt road off to your left heading southwest. This dirt road will have a yellow fire restriction sign by it. This is where you might need to park if you are in a car. If you are in something with some clearance, turn left and drive 1 mile until you reach some horse corrals. Park here.

When we pulled on in to the corrals we were greeted by some horse packers who said they didn't mind us parking in their camp. From there, a lesser road continues on into the canyon. At first shaded with large bushes and some trees but then opens up and exposes you to the NV sun. Actually it's the CA sun but this is a NV trip report so we'll leave it at that. The trail heads westward around a ridge and then points you south. After a while you'll pass a tire in the trail and shortly thereafter the trail will curve to your left and swing you off the side of the northern flanks of East Sister. The trail is easy to follow and steady in the elevation gain. Just right. As the trail nears the A in SWEETWATER on the topo you'll pass through an open gate and shortly thereafter enter a sagebrush area labeled Little Smith Valley on the topo. Just keep on the trail as it swings you away from East Sister and then south again. You start to notice that the trail is about to top out in elevation shortly after this and this is the point where Edward Earl mentions in his trip report that he got off and headed south-southwest.

Once off the trail the terrain is excellent and you basically are walking through sage brush that isn't much higher that your ankles. Middle Sister at this point is straight in front of you and are aiming for the gully about 1/3 mile away. Once in the gully just stick to it until you come to a tree right in the center of it. From here jump out shortly hitting some faint tire tracks that take you on through some brush to a meadow at 9600+ feet. The route is obvious at this point and the ridge in front of you is what you're aiming for. It is best to get on the ridge as soon as you can because the light colored dirt ahead is soft and tough to slog through. We gained the ridge, climbed southerly, and reached a wooden pole 350 vertical feet later that marked the California state line. From here, we down climbed on a spur ridge that aimed northwest about 80 feet to another wooded pole that marked the Nevada state line and immediately thereafter up a rock outcrop to the highest point in Lyon County, NV.

Andy Martin's pill bottle register is still there as well as a red coffee can register left by Gordon MacLeod and Barb Lilley. Same kind that was found on top of Calaveras County, CA. Not that many people had signed into this one. All the names starting showing up when we cracked open the register on top of Middle Sister which is only 300 vertical away. We were the first to sign in this year.

This is truly a nice peak. I was wondering if I was walking into a beast from some of the other trip reports but that turned out not to be the case. The trail is obvious, the views are great, and the peak is one of the kind that truly stand out when you have it in your site. The total slog on this one is about 12 miles round-trip from where we parked. Not bad.