Hiking Notch Peak, Second Highest Cliff in North America

I picked up a copy of a old 1970s guide to the Great Basin area and read a section on Notch Peak, and how the vertical drop from the top is equaled only to El Capitan in Yosemite (in North America).  I was surprised because I’d never heard of it.  Was this true?  Was it still there after all these years?

I was pleased to find that it was indeed still there, and in fact some people online said they thought it was the best day hike in America. So I had to go there.  Here’s a 3 min video of our quest to get there and climb to the top. The title of the video could also be, “Why You Should Never Buy a Used Rental Car”.


Notch Peak from Plane
Notch Peak from Plane
From the Top
From the Top


Bristlecone Pine
Bristlecone Pine


By the way, for those pilots wishing to go to Notch Peak, here’s some info:

Ely Nevada isn’t that close to Notch Peak, but nothing is close to Notch Peak unless you own a suitable plane and want to land at the Ibex dry lake bed and bike over to it, but I measured it and its about 30 miles of hard riding. You could also land at Provo, Utah to the north and drive about three hours down to Notch Peak.

To reach the trailhead drive east from Ely on Highway 50 to mileage marker 46 and turn left. Drive four miles north to the signed Miller Canyon Road, and then turn left. Drive another five miles to a sign that points left to Sawtooth Canyon. A short ways later you will encounter a stone and log cabin on the north side of the road. Continue on up the canyon dirt road eventually you’ll see a sign signifying “Notch Peak Trailhead”.

7 thoughts on “Hiking Notch Peak, Second Highest Cliff in North America

  1. Excellent video! As always an inspiration to us all. Nice of you to wash the car. My only complaint is I always wish you included more pilot specific information. Details like what airport, how you got from airport to adventure, any airport info ….

    1. Antonio,

      Thanks for the comment. I’ll edit that post to include more information and I’ll try to do more of that information. Transportation often is the biggest challenge.

      1. I saw Ely in the video so already found it on foreflight. Nice to have rental cars in such a remote place!

  2. Hi Ney. Great post/video/hike. I’m not able to find a rental car company near Ely. Would you remember who you used?

    1. I thought it was Enterprise but I see they are not there. I think it was Enterprise so I guess they closed up. Did you call the FBO? They would know, unless that business is gone as well.

      1. FBO recommended Elko, 190 miles away. Thank you again for a great website. Really glad I found it. Source of inspiration for sure. Ordered your book too 🙂

      2. Thanks for ordering the book! Elko? That is not helpful at all. Ely is not THAT small. Bummer. One thing you might try that I almost pulled off once – is to look at Uhaul and rent a pickup. I see they have a place in Ely.

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