Magazine article Sunset

Nevada's Wilderness Gem: The Jarbidge

Magazine article Sunset

Nevada's Wilderness Gem: The Jarbidge

Article excerpt

JARBIDGE. NOT Jarbidge. That's the first thing tenderfeet learn. When you've urged your horse to the flank of Cougar Peak, and you're gazing out at a vista that encompasses Nevada and Idaho, you want to know how to pronounce where you are. So don't go adding that second r.

The Jarbidge Mountains rise along the Nevada-Idaho border, roughly 70 miles southwest of Twin Falls, Idaho, and 80 miles north of Elko, Nevada.

The mountains, volcanic in origin, rise like a fortress from the surrounding desert, their lower slopes rounded and sage green, their upper peaks--Cougar and Matterhorn and God's Pocket--lifting 10,000 feet and higher. Once you're exploring them, the Jarbidges become remarkably companionable mountains: compact, laced by 125 miles of trails, and beautifully varied.

EXPLORING THE JARBIDGE BY FOOT, BY HOOF

The usual season for exploring the wilderness is mid-June into October; the wilderness gets heaviest use during hunting season, from early August through mid-October.

Trek the Jarbidge two ways: by foot or on horseback. Most backpackers enter from the wilderness's western boundary, at Snowslide Gulch trailhead, a little south of the town of Jarbidge. …

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