Mount Davidson • Highpoint: Storey County
• Range Highpoint: Virginia Mountains

An old road leads to the top

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Date: August 9, 2000 • Elevation: 7,864 feet • Prominence: 2,704 feet • Distance: 1 mile • Time: 40 minutes • Gain: 100 feet • Conditions: Clear and pleasant

Mount Davidson overlooks Virginia City, home of the famous Comstock Lode and other great mines that sprang up here in the late 19th Century. The town clings to the side of the mountain and still maintains its old-time look, with many of the original building still standing and in use. These days, the bulk of main street is devoted to tourists.

I was here because earlier in the day I had climbed Mount Jefferson in Nye County. I was planning to stay in Carson City, and this was on the way, and I figured I could hike to Mount Davidson's top with what daylight I still had remaining. I arrived in town about 5 in the afternoon.

People have hiked to Mount Davidson directly from town. I wanted to try another approach, following Ophir Grade Road and other back roads that might get me close to the top. It was worth a look. The road starts on the south end of Main Street, but it was not signed and I had trouble finding it at first.

Now on the road, it gains up the hillside and is rough in spots. I drove slowly and eased over the protruding rocks. In about 4 miles, I turned hard-right, now heading north. This secondary road had a couple steep parts and a lot of up and down. In another three miles, I parked on a bluff west of the summit.

I hiked a lesser track to the summit, about a half mile each way. The top is open with a couple towers. There was a band of wild horses in the meadows below me, and a gravesite beside the road, too. I didn't stay long. I looked around, then returned to my truck, and drove back out the way I came, then found a lousy hotel in Carson City.

The next day I would take on two more peaks in the Lake Tahoe area, Snow Valley Peak in Carson City and East Peak in the Heavenly Ski Area in Douglas County.

(c) 2000, 2016 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.