Nivloc, Fish Lake Valley & Boundary Peak
By Denis & Sandi Inman
Isolating at home was getting excruciatingly boring, so we decided to go on a trail ride. It would be a long one and the logistics would necessitate that the little Esmeralda Market in Dyer would have gas when we arrived there, late in the afternoon. I called ahead and they were confident that we would not get stranded in Fish Lake Valley. Riding with Jeremy were Deanna, Vic, and Janice. I drove solo.
The original plan was to leave Pahrump at 0600 on Tuesday the 6th, but since we were all ready at 5:45, we got on the road a little early. Our first stop was for a coffee break at the Area 51 Alien Center, then we took another respite at the Candy Store in Beatty to top off our fuel tanks. The final resting point before getting off the pavement was at the out houses in Goldfield.
The Alkalai Flat Hot Springs are interesting, so we paused to take a look. When we reached the settlement of Silver Peak, we took the 50¢ tour before heading Southwest on Nivloc Road. When planning our route on basic maps, I at first thought we could drive from the mine at Nivloc, continue East past Cottonwood Springs and reach Fish Lake Valley by way of a trail that lined up a short distance away. It wasn’t until I studied the topographical maps that I could see that the two trails were only about half a mile apart horizontally, but they were separated by approximately 1400 feet in vertical elevation.
On our way back out of Cottonwood Canyon, we took a lunch break at Silver Peak Pond and fed the fish. After our meal, it was only a short time before we were back in Silver Peak where we took Coyote Road past Coyote Spring to Coyote Summit, then continued to Coyote Hole. Just beyond Cave Spring, we found the road heading Southeast through Argentite Canyon that would have eventually taken us to the trail that ended 1400′ above Cottonwood Springs, but we decided to save that for a future trip.
We made note of a number of trails that we would like to explore in the future, and when the gas station under construction in Goldfield is completed, those trails will become a lot more accessible. Looking at the map, it seemed to indicate that Fish Lake Valley Marsh had some water in it, but when we were in close proximity, we climbed a mound with a good vantage point to determine that the marsh had almost no water at this time. Descending the mound, we came across the Fish Lake Valley Hot Well. There were campers at approximately 10 to 15 campsites, and many seemed to be staying for longer than a 1-week vacation.
From there, we crossed the highway and continued West up Chiatovich Road towards Boundary Peak. There are 2 trails on the East side of the peak that terminate at hiking or horseback trails to the summit. When we arrived at the fork, we chose Middle Creek over Trail Canyon this trip. Boundary Peak at 13140′ is the highest point in Nevada. Of course, California with Mount Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48, had to locate Montgomery Peak at 13441′ just across the state line to reduce the impact.
When we had completed our expedition for the day, we still had to acquire fuel for our thirsty Jeeps and stay awake for the 2 1/2 hour drive back to Pahrump. Thankfully, the Esmeralda Market had plenty of gas. Just one grade, 87 octane, but they had gas (and diesel). We arrived home just beyond the official sunset of 6:18 after a long day of exploring new trails and scouting out even more potential routes. I think I can say that we will now be able to isolate at home for a while. ……I estimate the better part of a week.