State Highpoints – Nevada - 13,143-foot Boundary Peak
Nevada’s highest peak and the ninth highest US state summit, 13,143-foot Boundary Peak, is a named but unranked summit
close to the Nevada-California border in central-west Nevada. Boundary is far from any major cities,
so climbers usually camp in the vicinity and climb Boundary in a day from their camp.
Boundary’s summit is only a quarter mile from the California border, and the reason that Boundary is an unranked summit
is that only another third of a mile into California is the higher 13,441-foot Montgomery Peak, a magnificent peak
that is an Emblem peak on the Sierra Club’s Desert Peak Section’s famous list of desert peaks.
Many peak baggers combine an ascent of Boundary with an additional ascent of Montgomery. The saddle between these two peaks
is the state line at 12,887 feet. Both Boundary and Montgomery overlook California’s northern Owens Valley.
The trailhead for the standard route up Boundary is near the Queen Mine at 9,041 feet, and you reach it by driving up the Queen Valley.
This vehicle approach is about a one hour drive from Bishop, California.
There is some loss on the summit hike, so the elevation gain required for an ascent of Boundary is over 4,100 feet,
however there is some sort of a trail most of the way.
A 4-Wheel-Drive vehicle can climb to the saddle southwest of Kennedy Point at 9,780 feet, and shorten the ascent by over a mile.
The round trip distance from the lower trailhead at the Queen Mine is about 10.5 miles. If you add Montgomery to your itinerary,
you will add 1.5 miles and 810 feet of gain to your roundtrip totals.
Boundary Peak is one of the few state highpoints that is overshadowed by a nearby higher peak. This is just because of the vagary
of the state line. An earlier version of the state line, the Von Schmidt Line, actually placed Boundary Peak in California.
In this temporary scenario, the highest peak in Nevada was 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak in east-central Nevada. Wheeler is not just a
ranked peak wholly contained in Nevada, it is an ultra with 7,568 feet of prominence.
This is almost 30 times the prominence of Boundary, and many enthusiasts seek out Wheeler as well as Boundary.
These two peaks complete the list of all the Thirteeners in Nevada.