For a warm-up evening before a bigger outing in eastern Nevada, Greg Russell and I hiked a jeep road up the west side of Ward Mountain in the Egan Range. Like so much of this region, the Egan Range is generously banded with layers of Paleozoic limestone, and here the layers form an upper and a lower terrace of rolling sagebrush slopes set between cliffy outcrops. We chose the lower terrace, and followed the two-track road as it rose and fell in and out of drainages.
A panorama I shot for fun, which gives a better view of cliffs that for the two parallel terraces:
This part of Nevada is better watered and lusher than many parts of the state, and the canyons were full of healthy fir stands, plus occasional signs of surface water. We even had a glimpse of a small arch in a limestone tower below us. The sage was green and thick, and I expect that these slopes could see excellent wildflowers at the right time of year. Eventually, we found a spot and waited for some evening light to break through the haze of wildfire smoke that now seems to be a regular feature of August in the American West.
The Egan Range runs far to the north and south, and contains several designated wilderness areas, many canyons, at least one mapped arch, some major caves and some big cliffs. It’s a little-known landscape with a ton of potential for backpacking, photography and enjoying natural history, and I hope to return for plenty more!