Mt. Como (background) and a Desert Peach bush

Photo Album

The Pine Nut Mountains lie east of Carson Valley, near Carson City and Minden/Gardnerville, Nevada. Mt. Como is a 9004-ft peak in the remote central area of the range. (The high point, Mt. Siegel at 9420 ft, is at the southern end of the Pine Nuts.) Our route followed a fire road up to the final ridge, a long steep ascent. We came down a different canyon, intending to follow a trail on old topo maps, which however was largely non-existent and covered by dead tree-falls. Because the drive from Reno is a bit far, we car camped on BLM land after the hike. The Pine Nut Mountains, true to the name, are forested by pinyon pines, many of which however have died due to recent infestations of pests combined with drought. Because the area was very dry already in late May, we passed on having a campfire.

Statistics:

9.21 mi (4.68 mi uphill, 3.60 mi downhill, 0.83 mi flat)
2600 ft total ascent – 15.8 %  uphill grade, 62.3 %  downhill grade
6:38:24 total time (5:12:26 moving, 1:25:58 stopped)
0:33:55 pace (1.8 mph average speed, 24.2 mph max speed)
20.4 difficulty, 34.2 effort

Directions: From U.S. Hwy 395 south of Carson City, turn east on Johnson Lane. Go to the end of the pavement (an OHV  area), follow the primary dirt/gravel road until you reach Sunrise Pass Road. Stay right on Sunrise Pass Road at the fork with Juniper Pass Road (neither is signed). At about 14.5 miles from Hwy 395, turn south on a 4WD road that winds it way through the valley between Mt. Como and Mineral Peak. High clearance vehicle recommended. We parked on a side road at the 20-mile mark from 395. A full GPS track is available here.