Wheeler Peak (Nevada)
Wheeler Peak, looking east-southeast in late afternoon light.
|Elevation||13,065 ft (3,982 m) NAVD 88|
|Prominence||7,563 ft (2,305 m)|
|Location||White Pine County, Nevada, U.S.|
|Topo map||USGS Wheeler Peak|
Wheeler Peak, elevation 13,065 feet (3,982 m), a mountain in the Snake Range of the Great Basin, in the western United States. It is named for George Wheeler, leader of the Wheeler Survey of the late 19th century.
It is located in Great Basin National Park, in eastern White Pine County of central-eastern Nevada. It is the highest point in the National Park, and second highest point in the state. The summit is located 14 miles (23 km) west of the Utah border.
Wheeler Peak has an impressive headwall above a large glacial cirque, large moraines and an active rock glacier. The top of the mountain is covered by deep snow most of the year. A paved road runs from the Great Basin National Park visitor center to several small camping areas, the highest more than halfway up the mountain. The mountain's prominence is due to a Miocene detachment fault that brought the deep Cambrian Prospect Mountain quartzite to the top of the mountain.
Wheeler Peak—Boundary Peak
The distinction of highest point in Nevada goes to the summit of Boundary Peak, so named because it is just east of the Nevada-California border, at the northern terminus of the White Mountains. Wheeler Peak is, however, the tallest independent mountain in the state since Boundary Peak is considered a subsidiary summit of Montgomery Peak, whose summit is in California. The topographic prominence of Boundary Peak is 253 feet (77 m), which falls under the often used 300-foot (91 m) cutoff for an independent peak. Also, Boundary Peak is less than 1 mile (1.6 km) away from its higher neighbor.
By contrast the prominence of Wheeler Peak, at 7,563 feet (2,305 m), is the twelfth largest in the contiguous United States. It is also the twelfth most topographically isolated summit in the contiguous United States.
The limestone Lehman Caves, at the base of the mountain, feature a large collection of shield formations. Tours of the caves are offered year round by the National Park Service. Higher up on the glacial moraine is a grove of ancient Great Basin Bristlecone Pines of great age. A Bristlecone Pine named Prometheus, which was at least 4,862 years old and the oldest known non-clonal organism, grew here before it was inadvertently cut down in 1964 as part of a research project. Limber Pine, which can live for over 1,000 years, are also found in the area.
- Mountain peaks of the United States
- List of highest points in Nevada by county
- List of Ultras of North America
- List of Ultras of the United States
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