For a winter ascent of Wheeler Peak, we recommend that you purchase the United States Geological Survey 1.5 minute "Wheeler Peak, Nevada" and "Windy Peak, Nevada" quadrangle maps. They are availalbe from the USGS, at a park visitor center, by mail order from the Western National Parks Association. For mail orders, call (775) 234-7529.
Winter access to Wheeler Peak starts at Upper Lehman Creek Campground. Most parties take two days to make the ascent. The first day, they hike up the Lehman Creek Trail and camp at the Wheeler Peak Campground. The second day is spent climbing the summit and returning back down the Lehman Creek Trail.
Typically, the lower elevations are relatively snow free. However, 3-6 feet of snow can accumulate at Wheeler Peak Campground and along the Alpine Lakes Loop Trail. Above the treeline, the north ridge is wind swepth and fairly clear. While the lower and upper portions of the ascent are hikable during most years, the middle portion requires either skis or snowshoes. The standard route up Wheeler Peak is not technically difficult. However, skiing can be dangerous in places. It is easy to get off route and into steep terrain with numerous cliffs, especially when descending in poor visibility.
Last updated: January 28, 2017