Adventure Ride Industry News Ride Spot

Ride Spot: Mt. Patterson, California

Mount Patterson

By Jon Crowley

Please note:  The Mount Patterson area is part of a delicate ecosystem. Staying on existing trails is very important if we are to continue to be able to ride here.

Mount Patterson is the tallest mountain in the Sweetwater Range California at 11,673 feet. The Sweetwater Mountain Range lies between Highway 395 in California and Highway 338 (aka Sweetwater Road) in Nevada in the Toiyabe National Forest.

The Sweetwater Mountain Range has many OHV opportunities and places where you can start and end your adventure.  We decided to start near Coleville, California since we wanted a longer ride to get to Mount Patterson. Coleville, CA sets at about 5,100 feet and Mt. Patterson is 11,673 feet so there is some climbing to do!

To find a route, I use Gaia GPS to explore around then create a route. There are a few different ways to approach Mt. Patterson and I’d like to do more exploring from other angles and see some mines in the area as well.

Coleville Trailhead

We started our ride in Coleville, CA.  There is an area to park near National Forest at the intersection of Topaz Lane and Eastside Lane near Rickey Canyon. GPS Coordinates: 38.604982, -119.460278

Mt. Patterson GPS Coordinates

  • 38°26′10.5″N119°18′20.0″W
  • 38.43625, -119.305556

Mount Patterson sign

Mount Patterson info sign

“Mars with Flowers”

Above the timberline, the Sweetwater Range provides habitat for many rare plants.  The rocky alpine areas, also known as “fellfields”, may appear barren, but alpine plant populations have established here. This is a place of extremes, including both the weather and growth site.

The Sweetwater Range is unique in Western North America with regard to  the geologic processes that shaped it.

Please help keep this special place open to OHV travel by staying on designated routes.

Mount Patterson

Mount Patterson

Mount Patterson

The Sweetwater Mountains highest peak is Mount Patterson 11,654 feet

Mount Patterson

Mount Patterson in the Sweetwater Mountain Range

Mount Patterson

Mount Patterson

Mount Patterson

Mount Patterson

Nice ride from Coleville, CA to the top of Mount Patterson at just under 12,000 feet! This is an awesome destination…

Posted by UTV Guide on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

GPS Route Planning

Other places to Explore in the Sweetwater Range

Lobdell Lake, Nugent Cabin, Belfort and the area is dotted with many mines.

Belfort, CA

Belfort, CA – at an elevation of 10210 feet was a mining camp in the Patterson Mining District in the 1880s.

Other main peaks include Mount Wheeler (11,664 ft.) and the East, Middle, and South Sisters. 

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