Cone Benchmark, Lander County, Nevada
On BLM land, Elevation = 7281 ft. (2219 meters)
Highest point in the Sheep Creek Range
|The Sheep Creek Range starts not far north of the town of Battle Mountain and runs northeast for about 25 miles. It consists of broad plateaus and Cone Benchmark, near the southern end, is the high point. The view here is looking north from near point C4 on the map below. We decided to try the alternate driving directions suggested by Ken Jones in his Peakbagger.com report. This goes through an abandoned mining area. The drive is good and high-clearance is needed, but the road is not terrible. It is a shelf road in the upper parts, but wide enough for comfort.
Driving Directions: In Battle Mountain go north on Izzenhood Road. After crossing the railroad tracks go another one-half mile and stay right onto a dirt road when the main road curves left. Reset your odometer here. After 2.5 miles go left at a junction. There is a sharp switchback just after the junction. Follow this road around north then southeast as it goes along the slope. This is the single-track road shown on the map which is the best route. After 3.1 miles you will reach an open pit mine area. Drive down and across the pit then up the other side coming out on top of a plateau at 4.0 miles. Park here which is point C1 on the map.
Hiking Route: Go northeast up the steep slopes. The track shown is mostly on an old cow path which will avoid much of the talus fields. At the top is a cairn at C2. It is straightforward then across the plateau to the high point. The route is about 4.2 miles round-trip with a gain of 1300 feet. 5/15 RLC
|The above map shows the hiking route to Cone BM. The map has a one-kilometer UTM grid using NAD27. A GPS waypoint file is available for this route: ConeBM.gpx|
|Looking south off the plateau. The cairn at C2 is to the left of the photo. Bob Packard is making his way down the cow path.|
|Cone Benchmark disk at the top placed in 1934. Datasheet|