Overnight carcamping and dayhiking trip to Wall Canyon, in the Buffalo Hills west of Smoke Creek Desert, part of the Poodle Mountain Wilderness Study Area. Very interesting area. We saw wild horses, and signs of deer and/or antelope and also sheep. Besides scat, a sign for sheep was that several large boulders near the trailhead had strands of wool hanging on the sides – – apparently from sheep scratching themselves in shedding season. Also near the trailhead: an intact horse skeleton with some skin and hair left – – didn’t survive the winter.

A dozen years ago J. and I hiked here, up Wall Canyon to Button Mountain according to my old log book. M. and I didn’t make it that far because the canyon was very slow going, with no trail, dense vegetation in the creek bottom, and loose rocky sides. It’s hard to see how J. and I could have made it that far back then. But that was at the end of a long drought, and likely cattle were grazed in the canyon then, so quite possibly the dense vegetation in the bottom of the canyon just wasn’t there back in the mid-1990s.

Trip report with details on the hike .

Photo Album

Track and Profile

We drove to Wall Canyon via the scenic route past Pyramid Lake

The Needles, Pyramid Lake, and Lake Range

and Smoke Creek Desert.

Smoke Creek Desert

This 100-mile route took 3 hours (with a few stops for photos) from Reno to the turn-off on the main Smoke Creek Desert Road. The dirt/gravel road starting north of Sutcliffe was well graded; it would take longer with the more usual washboard conditions. The return route via Gerlach and NV Hwy 447 and I-80 was 20 miles longer but took only 2 hrs 15 minutes.