Storey County High Point Trip Report

Mount Davidson (7,864 ft)

Date: August 9, 2000
Author: Scott Surgent

The Ophir Grade Road shown on the topo is not the easiest road to find when in Virginia City. The main drag (NV-342) is choked with tourists and not all the street signs are visible, or even existent! After a couple times up and down the road, I finally asked for directions at a gas station, and I was on my way.

The Ophir Grade Road is the first road on your left, immediately after two steep (15% grade) switchbacks and a Nevada-DOT yard, as you head north. A storage/garage unit and a water treatment pond are in the area. Ophir Grade Road is, in a word, awful. It was full of deep ruts, pits, and sections of jagged rock from where they blasted out the road bed. After about 4 or 5 arduous miles of driving I finally came to the intersection with the access road for Mt Davidson and its nearby summits.

This road was better, ironically. It's steepness in parts prompted me to use 4wd, but overall it was much more enjoyable than the Ophir Grade Road. After driving another 3 miles or so in a Northeasterly direction, I made a right at a rockier spur to Mt Davidson, drove in a bit, and parked about a half-mile short of the summit rocks.

The hike was quick, following the small ridge spine up and down over 3 intermediate bumps. The final bit was up a trail through the rocks to a jagged summit and some towers. Very windy. A band of wild horses took refuge on the slopes just below the ridge, and there was also a grave site along the way. Net elevation gain was probably about 75 feet, but with the undulating approach the gross gain might have been about 200 feet.

Then it was back down from whence I came. I took Ophir in 4wd this time, just to make it more tolerable. While the roads don't absolutely require 4wd, having it makes the trip so much more enjoyable.