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Sunrise Pass Road is a graded dirt road. It can be accessed from the Johnson Lane OHV Park located east of Minden, Nevada. As the road gradually ascends to Sunrise Pass, it traverses alluvial plains covered in sage and low canyons with juniper trees. Rising to 7,087' at Sunrise Pass, the road takes you to the heart of the Pine Nut Mountains. From the top of the Pass, the road descends to the very north end of Smith Valley, Nevada.
Numerous side trails lead to dispersed campsites, natural springs, abandoned mines, and scenic views. Most of this wide dirt road can accommodate two-way traffic. Most of the Pine Nut Mountain area is managed by BLM.
During dry weather, this road can be driven with 2-wheel drive high clearance SUV vehicles. During the winter months, the mountains get snow, and 4WD with recovery equipment, water, and extra supplies are warranted. Muddy road conditions are present during the spring thaw and wet weather. During these conditions, canyon washes may have shallow water crossings.
Intermittent to no cell service was available on the T-Mobile network along this road. Minden and Carson City both have gas, food, and lodging, and both are 9 miles from the trailhead.
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