Pilot Peak (Nevada)

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Pilot Peak
Pilot Peak, looking northwest from Interstate 80 in Utah
Elevation 10,720 ft (3,270 m)[1]
Prominence 5,726 ft (1,745 m)[2]
Listing Ultra
Pilot Peak is located in Nevada
Pilot Peak
Pilot Peak
Nevada, U.S.
Location Elko County, Nevada, U.S.
Range Pilot Range
Coordinates 41°01′16″N 114°04′39″W / 41.021122631°N 114.0773917°W / 41.021122631; -114.0773917Coordinates: 41°01′16″N 114°04′39″W / 41.021122631°N 114.0773917°W / 41.021122631; -114.0773917[1]
Topo map USGS Pilot Peak
Easiest route Class 2 scramble from Miners Canyon[3]
Reference no. 46[4]

Pilot Peak is the highest mountain in the Pilot Range in extreme eastern Elko County, Nevada, United States. It is the most topographically prominent peak in Elko County and the fourth-most prominent peak in Nevada.[5] The peak is on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management and thus has no access restrictions.

Pilot Peak was named in 1845 for its use as an easily recognized landmark. John C. Fremont saw the peak from the east during his third expedition, mapping the Great Basin. Wondering whether his entire party could cross the desert he sent Kit Carson ahead to scout for water sources. Finding a perennial spring just east of the peak, Carson lit a large bonfire, the smoke from which signaled Fremont that the crossing was possible.

View of Pilot Peak from the Pilot Peak exit on Interstate 80 in Nevada

In 1846 the Donner Party also used the peak as a landmark for their crossing of the Great Salt Lake Desert, part of the Hastings Cutoff emigrant route. Running out of water, they had to temporarily abandon their wagons and oxen in order to reach the springs (now called Donner Springs) at the base of the peak. They eventually recovered most of their stock animals and wagons, and continued their journey to the California Trail and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Pilot Peak". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  2. ^ "Pilot Peak, Nevada". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  3. ^ "Pilot Peak". SummitPost.org. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Nevada Historical Marker 46". Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  5. ^ "Nevada Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2014-10-23. 

External links[edit]

Pilot Peak view
360-degree panorama from the summit of Pilot Peak