Jeff Davis Peak (Nevada), Wheeler Peak, Baker Peak (Nevada)
By: Ted Brasket
From the parking area at the top (west end) of Wheeler Peak Campground, cross the road and take the trail heading south signed Bristle Cone Pine Trail. It's 10,000' at this trail head and a beautiful hike up through the Bristle Cone and up to the rugged cirque extending from Jeff Davis to Wheeler Peak. Leave the trail at the top end where it runs into the Glacier Trail and head up and left across boulders to above timberline.
Above timberline, pick your best shot heading east approximately .5 miles to the ridge just a very short distance to the east of Jeff Davis. This ridge will put you on the main ridge crest. Going west over Jeff Davis, follow the ridge approximately 1 mile, losing approximately 500'. Climb up the steep east end of Wheeler Peak. Follow the tourist trail back down to a junction signed Alpine Lakes bearing right and Wheeler trail head left. Actually, you want to take the Lakes Trail to get back to the parking area you started from. The other trail comes out on the highway .5 miles to the north. This is a much more interesting day than doing the tourist route both ways. It will only cost you one more mile and 500' more gain. We do love loops wherever possible. The ridge up to Jeff Davis goes really good. Stay out on the loose junk wash to the west of the ridge. No map needed. Everywhere you're going is out in the open.
Last July Jeanette Vincent and I did this route and dropped off the south end of Wheeler 1300' and up to Baker Peak at 12,298' and then east .75 miles to Peak 12,305. If you feel energetic and have the time, it adds 5 miles and 2400' (would total 15 miles and 6,000') that was a 13-hour day. As described, 10 miles, 3600', class 2, 6-7 hours.
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