Visitors will find recreation, beauty on Success Summit Loop

One of the prettiest drives in Nevada somehow missed being listed as a scenic back road or byway. Residents of the Ely area frequently recommend the 35-mile Success Summit Loop to those who want to explore back country. It takes travelers into a beautiful canyon, past popular Cave Lake State Park, over a forested summit, through a verdant valley dotted with ranches and past several fishing streams with camping facilities at the base of the lofty Schell Creek Range.

The southern end of the loop route begins eight miles south of Ely on U.S. 93 about 272 miles from Las Vegas. From the turnoff near Comins Lake, a paved road climbs seven miles through a canyon cut by boisterous Steptoe Creek to reach Cave Lake State Park. Situated in the woods at 7,300 feet elevation, this park centers upon Cave Lake, a 32-acre reservoir created by a dam on the creek. The park includes 1,240 acres surrounded by Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. Visitors pay a $4 per vehicle entrance fee.

The park offers picnicking, camping, hiking, fishing, wildlife watching and boating in summer. In autumn, the area supports hunting, as well as providing some of the best autumn color in the state. In winter, ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and ice skating add to the year-round popularity of Cave Lake.

Two campgrounds serve visitors for an overnight fee of $14. Lake View Campground near the reservoir remains open all year. Elk Flat Campground across the road opens in May and closes in late October. Campsites are available on a first come basis. For best site selection, camp mid-week or plan an early arrival on weekends or holidays. Typical sites have tables, grills, parking pads, access to water and centrally located restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers.

Those using the park’s boat ramp pay a launching fee of $6. Anglers fishing Cave Lake, Steptoe Creek, Comins Lake or any of the other creeks in the vicinity must carry a valid Nevada fishing license and appropriate stamps. Obtain licenses wherever fishing gear is sold. Fishermen find brown and rainbow trout. Abundant crawdads provide fun catching them and good eating when cooked like mini-lobsters.

Two hiking trails originate in Cave Lake State Park. The popular three-mile trail along Steptoe Creek crosses the water on several foot bridges. The longer, steeper Cave Springs Trail covers about five miles. Both trails offer opportunities to observe wildlife and admire wildflowers at this time of year.

Many visitors arrive with off-road vehicles in tow. These may be used by properly licensed drivers on park roads, on the Success Summit Road and on other established roads. Motorized use of park foot trails is prohibited.

The paved road turns to gravel beyond the park as it climbs toward Success Summit, named for an early mine. Open from snowmelt to snowfall, this road is usually safe for passenger vehicles driven carefully, but side roads require high clearance vehicles. The road ascends in a series of swooping switchbacks with unparalleled views of rugged canyons and jagged peaks. Watch for elk and deer browsing in the meadows or gazing back at you from sheltering pines and firs. Often summer travelers on this road spot flocks of sheep with their picturesque herders and swiftly working dogs.

Stately aspen trees flank the meadows on the high mountain shoulders, framing superlative views. Summer blossoms riot in the sunshine of open areas. Huge golden blossoms of the wyethia dominate in many meadows, coloring whole slopes yellow. These showy blossoms bear the humble name “mule’s ears” from the shape of their large, fuzzy leaves.

Near the summit, pullouts mark informal campsites. As it drops down from the summit, the road heads north past the verdant pastures of ranches in Duck Creek Valley. Side roads explore several streams tumbling down canyons below the peaks of the Schell Creek Range. Rustic forest service campgrounds scattered along Timber, Berry, Bird and East creeks provide more opportunities for recreation where few other people go. Gravel gives way to pavement at the northern end of the loop, which rejoins U.S. 93 about 17 miles from Ely at a junction north of old McGill.

Margo Bartlett Pesek’s column appears on Sundays.

This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like