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Wheeler Peak

At: Nevada, United States
Wheeler Peak, Nevada, United States
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About: Wheeler Peak is the second highest peak in the U.S. state of Nevada, and the highest mountain entirely within the state. (See the next section for clarification.) It is located in the Snake Range and within Great Basin National Park near the border with Utah. It is named for the explorer and cartographer George Montague Wheeler, leader of the Wheeler Survey of the late nineteenth century. Wheeler Peak versus Boundary Peak The distinction of highest point in Nevada goes to the summit of Boundary Peak, so named because it is very near the Nevada-California border, at the northern terminus of the White Mountains. However, Boundary Peak can be considered a subsidiary summit of Montgomery Peak, whose summit is in California, since the topographic prominence of Boundary Peak is only 253 feet, which falls under the often used 300 foot cutoff for an independent peak. Also, Boundary Peak is less than 1 miles away from its higher neighbor. Hence Boundary Peak can be described as not being wholly within Nevada. By contrast the prominence of Wheeler Peak, 7563 feet, is quite large and in fact it is the twelfth largest in the contiguous United States Wheeler Peak is the highest point in a radius of more than 200 miles. In addition, Wheeler Peak is more visually striking than Boundary Peak, having an impressive headwall above a large glacial cirque, large moraines and an active rock glacier. Nearby features Under the base of the mountain are the limestone Lehman Caves, having many interesting formations, most notably a large collection of shield formations. Tours of the caves are offered year round by the National Park Service. Higher up on the glacial moraine is a grove of ancient bristlecone pine trees of great age. Prometheus, the oldest known non-clonal organism, grew here before it was cut down in 1964 for research purposes.


Maria Ly
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