Sunrise Pass Road

Total Miles


2161.6 ft


3.5 Hours

Technical Rating



Best Time

Summer Fall



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Trail Overview

This graded dirt county road begins at the Johnson Lane OHV Park located east of Minden, NV. As the road gradually ascends, it traverses alluvial plains covered in sage and low canyons with juniper trees. Rising to 7,000 feet at Sunrise Pass, the road takes you to the heart of the Pine Nut Mountains. From Sunrise Pass the road descends to the very north end of Smith Valley. All along Sunrise Pass Road, there are many side trails that lead to natural springs, abandoned mines and scenic views. Most of the wide dirt road can accommodate two-way traffic. During dry weather, the trail can be driven by 2WD, high-clearance SUVs. 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 is available along this road. Minden and Carson City, NV are both nine miles from the trailhead where gas, food and lodging are available.


Intermittently-maintained county dirt road with gentle grades. Safe for most high-clearance AWD and 2WD trucks. Roads are typically two-vehicles wide. The road is unmaintained after rain or snow. Spring and winter shallow water crossings could be encountered. The wide road is not off-camber. A few tall stones and obstacles under 6" can be easily avoided. The road is not rutted and elevation changes are gradual with no ledges.


There are several "prospector" trails to explore in the Pine Nut Mountains. At the east end of Sunrise Pass Road, 8 miles to the North is the ghost town of Como. In the 1870s 700 people lived and worked in this mining town. The town supplied the Pine Nut Mountain miners with food, drink, entertainment and supplies.

Technical Rating