North Schell from highway 486 Map of North Schell Peak
North Schell Peak, the highest point in the 142 mile Schell Creek Mountains, is an easy day trip if you somehow find your self in Ely, Nevada. It also makes a good outing from Timber Creek Campground located at the trailhead. North Schell Peak is an Ultra Peak, one of 57 peaks in the lower 48 with over 5,000 feet of prominence. The views of the Great Basin region and local mountains are incredible....assuming you get some good weather.
Access:

North Schell Peak

Distance: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,600 feet
Summit Elevation: 11,883 feet
Access rating: Level 2
The Route:
Start up the trail in aspens until reaching an open meadow where you see two drainages. The trail crosses the creek a few times and continues up the easier drainage to the left. Soon you are in a narrow high valley above most of the trees. As the trail works its way north, you are traveling from the south side to the north side of North Schell. Many (including myself) decide enough with it and start climbing open slopes to the right to make a more direct route up to the top (see map). If you stay on the trail until it wraps into a northern drainage from the summit, there is less talus and you won't have any brushy areas to work around. The final 1,000 feet on either route is a scenic but lackluster slog up open slopes. Once on the ridgeline, it is a quick and easy scramble over and up the summit pyramid (on climbers trails).
From Ely, drive north on US 93 through McGill to a sign for Hwy 486 that may just say "Duck Creek National Forest Access". Follow Hwy 486 east then south about eight miles to a sign for Timber Creek Campground. Go left (Forest road 425) for around 4 miles to the Timber Creek Campground. About a half mile beyond is a large turnaround and a trailhead. This last half-mile and trailhead parking has been graded recently (2009) and is much better than reports from past.
Trailhead for North Schell Peak North Schell route Trail up North Schell Looking back to views south North from North Schell Peak Hiking up North Schell NW from North Schell Peak North Schell summit North from North Schell Peak South Schell Peak and Taft Mountain Deep Creek Range SE to Wheeler Peak East to Mt. Moriah
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From Highway 486
Trailhead for North Schell Peak
First real views on the trail
Upper valley
Looking back to views south
The ridgeline north of the peak, ascend anywhere here
This is all you see the last 1,000 feet
Walking the north ridgeline toward the summit
Looking NW from the summit
Looking south toward South Schell Peak and Taft Mountain
Looking north
SE to Wheeler Peak
East to Mt. Moriah
NE to Ibapah and the Deep Creek Range
Black is road to trailhead, blue is the trail and yellow are options for the off-trail section.
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Ramada Inn & Copper Queen Casino

Ramada Inn & Copper Queen Casino > ELY > 805 7th St > Ely > NV > 89301>2.5>ADDRESS: 805 E 7th Street Ely, NV 89301 TRAVELLING FROM: NORTH: Hwy 93 S to second signal; turn left; hotel is 2 blocks. SOUTH: Hwy 93 N; hotel is located on the corner of Hwy 93 and Campton St. or Hwy 6 N; turn left on Hwy 93; go 5 blocks; hotel


National Geographic TOPO! Outdoor Recreation Mapping Software - Nevada

National Geographic TOPO! Outdoor Recreation Mapping Software - Nevada

TOPO! Outdoor Recreation mapping software for PC and Mac now includes updated 3-D map rendering with fly-throughs and live map updating. Software package contains both PC and Mac versions for full compatibility across platforms, making it easier than ever to plan, print and play! 3-D rendering technology creates virtual relief maps that you can fly-through or view alongside 2-D maps, letting you preview your hike and views. Overlay roads and highways on any topographic map for confident navigation to the trailhead. Live map update feature downloads the latest information for your defined area, ensuring you are always armed with the most up-to-date data. TOPO!'s traveling tool allows you to zoom in, zoom out and scroll the map in any direction. TOPO! determines the exact latitude/longitude and elevation of any point on the map. Enhanced 3-D digital shading emphasizes changes in elevation, making the maps easier to read and use; shading toggles on and off. Add routes, symbols and text to customize your map; attach note boxes, web links and photos to the objects you place on the map. Select the exact area you need and print a photo-quality custom map on any ink-jet or laser printer or plotter. Transfer your custom waypoint and route information directly to or from most handheld GPS units. Link photos and export maps to Palm and Pocket PC handhelds with TOPO! Sync USA (sold separately). Contains scanned images of actual 1:24,000 and 1:100,000 scale USGS maps with over 2,000 seamless map images. Print waterproof trail maps on National Geographic Adventure Paper (sold separately) to take along on your trips. Visualize elevation gain with elevation profiling--simply trace a route anywhere on the map and the software will generate an elevation profile. Powerful search function finds trails, camps and campgrounds, lakes and ponds, parks, cities and towns, USGS 7.5' quad names and much more.