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Exploring the Schell Creek Range
Timestamp Free: 2020.05.31 - 10:12:03
Ranges: North America Ranges / Great Basin Ranges
  (2 days)     Elevation Gain: 1800m
Participants: Klaus Haring
Difficulty: 1: Easy off trail hiking
Easy hikes to big peaks, Cleve Creek Baldy and North Schell Pk
Driving home from my first visit to this area in NE Nevada at Christmas 1981 I stopped over at Cave Lake State Park SE of Eli. The park was closed but I was able to drive to a parking area near the lake from where I could see a natural rock arch on the distant hillside. Was that the cave? I walked along the snowy road and climbed up to it, a nice couple hours hike to break up the long drive. [photo]slide24.jpg[caption]Looking back to Cave Lake from the rock arch.[/photo]

Eighteen years later I returned in November and drove through the park to Success Summit, a 2750m high pass. My forest service map shows the little traveled, good gravel road as a State Hiway. Near the pass I found a short spur road and a level spot where I could car camp undisturbed. I spent the afternoon hiking east, up the broad ridge through open patchy forest to Cleve Creek Baldy. The summit was a huge plateau that did not feel like you were on a 10941' peak. [photo]slide28.jpg[caption]View of distant Wheeler Peak from the summit plateau of Cleve Creek Baldy[/photo]

Schell Creek Range is a chain of giant hills, there are no rugged peaks here. My next goal was North Schell Peak, the highest at 11883'. So the next morning I drove down to the north and took the turn to Timber Creek Camp, where I parked. I might have been able to drive a bit further, but started walking on the road which gradually deteriorated the further I got around the turn in the valley to the north. I can't remember whether the road turned into a trail, but about an hour short of the peak I had to find my own way, which was not difficult in the open uncomplicated terrain. On the summit a survey marker said 3625.6m, which didn't compute with the feet elevation on my forest service map.

The peak was not exactly rugged,...

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