The White Pine Range is one of my favorite ranges in Nevada. It's located in southern White Pine County, in eastern Nevada. It runs about 50 miles in length, north-south between Highway 50 and Highway 6. I purposely added time to our most recent ride, just so I could ride the entire length of this spectacular range.
There's a lot of history in this range. It's home to several ghost towns, the most famous of which is Hamilton, which at one time boasted a population of 10,000 people! Not much remains today except the remnants of scattered outbuildings, cabins, and mines throughout the range. The Hamilton-Pioche Stage Road runs through the area too, which was teeming with stage coaches when Hamilton was booming. There's even a legend of buried treasure somewhere in the White Pine Range!
This is a really diverse range so it's a lot of fun to ride. It features rocky ridges, rolling hills, and epic views of the valley floor. The high point is Currant Mountain, a dramatic limestone peak rising to 11,513 feet. Vegetation includes limber pine, juniper, and even Great Basin Bristlecone Pine! There's a lot of water in this area too, with year-round springs and creeks. When I rode through here on my 2013 ride in the spring, the wildflowers were out of control! On my recent ride, we saw elk, deer, and wild horses. (This is where we had our heartbreaking encounter with the young wild horse we named Oscar.) I've read the range is also home to Bighorn Sheep, but alas, I never saw any.
Some of the trails are tough, but they're worth it. Like most of the ranges we explored during the ride, we didn't see a lot of people in here, only a few hunters out scouting. One of the things I love about public land is that you can just pick a spot and camp. There are some great places in this range to set up camp and then head out and hike or ride. Watch out for the cows though - we had a big bull wander into our camp one evening! If you do need something a little less primitive, there is an actual campground on the southern end of the range. As always, I recommend the Nevada Road & Recreation Atlas from Benchmark Maps to get a feel for the area before you go.
The latest updates from Samantha on the Nevada Discovery Ride.