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Arc Dome (11,775') in Central Nevada

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Arc Dome (11,775') in Central Nevada

Postby wingding » Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:50 pm

I decided I wanted to do the hike to Arc Dome (11,775') in Central Nevada and check out the aspen groves that line the creeks in that area of the Arc Dome Wilderness, so on Wednesday evening (Oct. 11th) I drove north on 395 as far as Lone Pine and camped at Tuttle Creek Campground. On Thurday morning I was suprised to see how little snow there appeared to be in the Whitney area from down in Lone Pine. As I drove north on 395, I noticed that the mountains in the Sierra north of Independence were covered with a lot more snow than south of Independence.

When I got to Bishop I checked out what was left of the fall colors along Bishop Creek before heading into Nevada on Highway 6. I was worried about the long dirt road to Columbine Campground in the Arc Dome Wilderness, so I wanted to make sure I got there before dark. The dirt roads between Gabbs, Nevada and Columbine Campground turned out to be in really good shape and I was at the campground well before dark. I wandered around a little to check out the aspens and to see where the trail started. I was disapointed that most of the leaves had dropped off the aspens. A week or two earlier the aspens would have been a spectacular sight.

It got very cold overnight on Thursday night (the water I had outside the truck froze solid), so it was hard moving around in the morning. I wanted to start early because of the short days this time of year and the forecast that called for afternoon storms. I started out about 7 am on Friday (October 13th) from Columbine Campground (about 8,500' elevation) and headed north along an old jeep trail. Although it was cold and windy, the sky was blue so I was happy. I followed the jeep trail for miles until I finally got to the spur trail that drops down 600 feet to a saddle and then climbs 1,000 feet to the summit of Arc Dome. The winds calmed and the temperature warmed up as I hit the last 1,000 foot climb. There was lingering patchy snow from the last storm down to about 10,700 feet on Arc Dome, but it was soft fluffy snow and only a few inches deep at the most.

The view was very nice from the top of Arc Dome and the hike down went well. As I headed back down, the clouds started to build up. Once I was back down at the trailhead I decided to head for lower ground, so I could sleep warmer. I headed back across the border into California and the rain started coming down hard, so I pulled over and went to sleep. This morning (October 14th) I was in Lone Pine just as it was getting light enough to see the mountains and it looked like they got a good amount of fresh snow overnight.

The hike to Arc Dome was about 14.5 miles round-trip with a total of 4,400 feet gain (including that 600 feet on the way back). The DPS guide reports it as 12 miles, but it's longer than that. My topo software gave me the 14.5 miles.

Some of the pictures I took:

Also, here's a yahoo group that's for desert hiking and camping:


Postby madeintahoe » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:28 am

Kathy Congratulations on Arc! Thats awesome you got there and had decent weather. :)
Beautiful pictures, so different there. I love Nevada how wide and open it is. To bad about the leaves already off the Aspens, that has happened here in Tahoe in certain areas. :crybaby:

The Rainbow pictures are really cool, I especially love the 1st one, the lightening and the pavement...makes it really interesting looking and still beautiful.
Thank you so much for your report and pictures, I had been wondering about you and how it went. I hope one day to do this hike. Did you see any wildlife there?
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Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:13 am

Nice photos! Love the rainbow and double rainbow shots!
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison
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Postby Skibum » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:16 am

Thanks for the report Kathy! Looks like a great area to explore. :thumbsup:
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Postby wingding » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:50 pm

Seeing as running into a mountain lion, or cougar as we called them in New York, is my greatest fear when I'm out there alone, I was glad that I didn't see one. The only wildlife I did see were some jack rabbits.

The rainbow was a nice bonus on the way home.

The area around Columbine Camp/Stewart Creek in the Arc Dome Wilderness would be the perfect leaf peeping place if you timed it right.

My next trip back to that area I'm going to give Mount Jefferson a try. I really want to see more of Nevada - I love how wide-open it is too. Sometime over the next year I'm going to make a trip over to the Great Basin National Park to do the hike to Wheeler Peak and check out that area.

I'm thinking that I might need to eventually invest in a piece of dirt in rural Nevada and put a trailer on it - sounds like heaven to me compared to fighting traffic everyday in Southern California.

Postby hikerduane » Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:05 pm

My folks had an undeveloped lot in Kingston Canyon by Austin up to a couple years ago. My mom asked if I wanted it and I said no, I don't think I would ever have the money to do anything with it and it is a long ways from anywhere. We lived in Eureka out in Diamond Valley for 4 years, I graduated in a class of 10.
Piece of cake.
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Postby Trailtrekker06 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:00 pm

Kathy- Superb photos AGAIN! Congrats on Arc.
I agree with you on the buying a piece of land out there -it SURELY beats the So Cal freeway stress!
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