Take the Scenic Route and Discover Wheeler Peak in Nevada

Wheeler Peak is a high mountain peak located in White Pine County, in the U.S. state of Nevada. It's one of the highest roads of Nevada.

Wheeler Peak

Where is Wheeler Peak?

The peak is located on the eastern part of Nevada, within the Great Basin National Park.

Why is it called Wheeler Peak?

The summit received its name in honor of George Wheeler, who led the Wheeler Survey during the latter part of the 19th century.

How long is the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive?

The road is totally paved, but narrow and steep. It’s called Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. Starting at Nevada Highway 488, the road is 19.31km (12 miles) long, ending where the Summit Trailhead starts, on a campground and parking lot. The road tops out at 3.103m (10,180ft) above sea level.

Is Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive challenging?

The true mountain road is narrow and twisty and wends through stands of trees. The narrowness of the road, and the danger of wildlife crossings, limits driving speeds to 35 mph. Due to the winding nature of the road, it is illegal to pass traffic along the entire road. Vehicles and trailers over 24 feet in length are not permitted beyond the Upper Lehman Creek Campground.

Is Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive steep?

It’s one of the most difficult climbs in Nevada as you rise over 3,000 feet in elevation in just under eight miles. The drive is very steep, hitting a 7% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at Nevada Highway 488 (Lehman Caves Road), the elevation gain is 1093 meters. The average gradient is 5.66%.

Is Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive open?

Set high in the South Snake Range, this road is usually impassable from November through late June or early July (depending on snow). The open and close dates all depend on snowmelt and snowfall each year. The road is not plowed above 7800 feet elevation.

How long does it take to drive to Wheeler Peak?

The drive offers spectacular panoramic views of the pine forests, lower mountains, lakes, and the desert. Allow 2 hours just for the drive to relax and see the sights. As you travel along the road, take the time to stop at the many pullouts along the way. You’ll cross through numerous ecological zones, the equivalent of driving from Baker, Nevada, to the frozen Yukon, thousands of miles to the north. As you leave the Great Basin Desert, you will be amazed as to the diversity of life that lives just feet above the barren desert beneath. It is not uncommon to see mule deer, marmots, coyotes, jackrabbits, as you climb along the road.