Boundary Peak (13143 ft), Montgomery Peak (13441 ft)
(CA and NV)

12 Aug 2001 - by Arun Mahajan (view roster page)

Boundary Peak is the high point of Nevada and is in the same range as White Mountain and sharing the ridge with it is Montgomery, it's higher neighbour. The state line goes between these peaks and Boundary ends up in Nevada and being the state high point, is more popular than Montgomery.

Access: Take 120 from 395, eastward, to Benton where 120 ends at Highway 6. Go on 6 North (left) for 9.2 miles having crossed the Nevada state line in the proccess. On your left will be a old ranch with a sign 'JR' (Janie's Ranch). Accross from it is an unsigned dirt road, the Queen's Canyon Rd. Make a right turn on to it and drive for 6.1 miles. My Subaru had no problems. At his point are remnants of an old mine, a mine shaft and to small hut like structures. There is also evidence of previous camping and several wire mesh cones on the ground. I car-camped there for the night of 11th Aug and dayhiked both these peaks on the 12th. GPS coordinates for TH and camp: N 37 53.358, W 118 19.058

Route description: From this spot, walk up the switchbacks on the 4WD road till a saddle, the Queen's Saddle at, N 37 52.911, W 118 18.885. This is the so called 'north side' approach. Look to the right, south-westerly and you will see a peaklet that seems to be at the end of a ridge. You have to get to a saddle, approximately in the vicinity of this peaklet on this ridge. There is a use trail which I found on the way down, but not up that leads from the Queen's Saddle to this ridge top. Once on this ridge top saddle at, 10821ft, N 37 52.409, W 118 19.387, the route is obvious as Boundary is visible with it's surrogate peak. It is a beautiful mountain and not as much a scree pile as it looks. Continue on a decent trail, south-westerly, staying to the left of a peaklet till another saddle from where there is a steep

scree climb on a switchbacked trail to the top of the surrogate peak. The summit is still far away but the route is an easy class-2/3 scramble although quite steep. The summit has a large cairn. Now, Montgomery is visible also. It is a short drop from Boundary to a notch between them and then a sharp rise. The route is class-3 but goes much quicker than one would initially think. It vaguely reminded me of sections of the Nevhabe Ridge since it has several gendarmes that could be climbed or skirted. I mostly skirted from the left, going towards Montgomery from Boundary.

My times: Start: 6.15am, Boundary at 10.20 (4hrs, 5 mins). Start for Montgomery: 10.35am, summit of Montgomery, 11.25 (55 mins). Back to Boundary, summit dawdle there. Back to the car at 3.20pm. Total time, round trip, including both summits, 9hrs, 5 mins.

Notes: I was helped by trip reports on the PCS page by Dinesh Desai and Tony Cruz and a route description from the '50 State Summits' by Paul Zumwalt. Paul's book describes a different approach which has been debated a little in Tony's trip report amongst members of the PCS mailing lists. This debate also provides good information. In speaking to the few people that I met at the summit and who had all done Paul's route, the 'east side' approach from Highway 264, I found out that it had taken them an average of 4 hrs of hiking from the car as well. So, it appears to be a wash, though the driving by Dinesh's approach is shorter and his route description is dead on. This route does require you to climb the surrogate peak but that also breaks up the climb in two segments as opposed to doing the whole thing in a continious fashion from the Trail Canyon, Paul's approach. I noticed that the people from the east-side route came upto Boundary in approximately the region of the surrogate peak on my route.

Boundary and Montgomery are worth a visit for their remoteness and solitude. I did meet some people at Boundary but none, bar one, ventured towards Montgomery. My trailhead camp site and route had nobody on them except a wild horse on the ridge who did not panic even though I was only a few hundred feet from it. On the way out, a large fire on 120 caused it's closure and traffic was re-routed to go via a road that drops near Crowley Lake on 395.

The GPS coordinates mentioned in this report were taken with my GPS set to the WGS-84 (World Geodetic Survey, 1984) datum. Thanks to Dee Booth for pointing out the omission of the datum in the original report.

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