Wheeler Peak (Nevada)
Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park is the second highest point in Nevada.  Although it is shorter than Boundary Peak by only about 15 metres, Wheeler Peak's topographical prominence is nearly 30 times that of the state high point.  Consequently, Wheeler Peak is sometimes considered the tallest independent mountain in Nevada.  Regardless of all these technicalities, I was attracted to the peak mainly because I was looking for a short and easy trip in the area after spending the night at the Border Inn off US Highway 6 on the Utah/Nevada state line.

On the morning of 9 August 2013, I treated myself to a big breakfast at the Border Inn before driving to Great Basin National Park (no entry fees) to climb Wheeler Peak.  The trailhead is located near the end of a long and winding paved road that climbs over 1400 metres from the nearby town of Baker, Nevada.  In addition to the high starting elevation, there is a good trail that runs up the north ridge of Wheeler Peak all the way to the summit.  Other than having to contend with a rather truculent wind on this day, I enjoyed a mostly trouble-free ascent.  There were quite a lot of other hikers going up and coming down, but the mountain never felt crowded to me.  I spent a pleasant hour at the summit eating lunch and reading the register before starting my descent.  Not far from the trailhead, I took an easy shortcut down an open grassy slope which saved me some time and distance.  After stopping briefly at the trailhead to chat with a tourist from Texas, I drove back down the road to Baker before heading into the interior of Nevada along US Highway 6.  Ultimately, I drove all the way to the town of Tonopah and checked into a cheap motel for the night.

Oddly enough, Wheeler Peak is not visible from this vantage point (it's behind Jeff Davis Peak).

Jeff Davis Peak (right) is among the many peaks of Great Basin National Park that are visible from the Border Inn.

Can't wait to get up there! Wheeler Peak is readily visible from the road near the trailhead.
Would be ideal as a ski ascent in winter, I think. The gentle north ridge of Wheeler Peak provides an easy ascent route.
Just kidding. There's actually a cairn here. A wild turkey marks the spot along the trail where it is possible to take a shortcut.
Very pleasant in this forest. Aspen trees along the first part of the trail provide some shade from the sun.
This is also roughly where I took my shortcut on descent. Views begin to open up near tree line.  At left is Jeff Davis Peak, and at right is Wheeler Peak.
The wind was quite brutal at times on this ridge. The north ridge is generally quite broad.
Still about 45 minutes to the summit from here. The trail climbs up the crest of the ridge before traversing to the left just below the summit.
Looks like a pretty easy traverse to Jeff Davis Peak if you were so inclined... The east end of Wheeler Peak's summit ridge grants a comprehensive view of Jeff Davis Peak.
Okay, I think all the brats have cleared off the summit... This is looking back at Wheeler Peak's true summit from the east end of the summit ridge.
A much easier ascent than the other Wheeler Peak in New Mexico. Sonny stands on the 3975-metre summit of Wheeler Peak.
A high level traverse of all these peaks would be cool to do. A plethora of peaks stretches away to the south.  The nearest one is Baker Peak.
They were probably generating a lot of electricity on this day. Numerous wind turbines can be seen in the flats to the northwest.
I wonder if there are any dwarvish mines there... In the distance to the north is Mount Moriah.
A good reason to come back here in the future... The impressive west face of Jeff Davis Peak is worth another look.
Nice to get down and out of that brutal wind! Jeff Davis Peak and Wheeler Peak look impressive in the afternoon sun.
Deserves better than 2nd highest point in Nevada! Here is a last look at Wheeler Peak from the highway to the west.  Jeff Davis Peak can also be seen at far left.
The shortest elevation gain of all the peaks I climbed on my 3-week vacation. Total Distance:  14.4 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  6 hours 27 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  897 metres