Papoose Peeping from the East
This is a tough direction to spot things from with very few pickings. In most cases, the lake itself is shielded by the Papoose Range. There are a number of spots from which to see the airspace, but that’s not too exciting. We’ll settle for nothing less than aliens….
I mention this only because a lot of people are already familiar with it and have been there. While it provides an OK view of Groom, Papoose can’t be seen at all. It’s hiding behind the Papoose Mountains. According to sightline analyses done from Tikaboo, it is possible to see all the Papoose airspace down to about 800′ AGL over the area of the lake. North of the lake, the mountains rise quickly and block the lower levels of airspace. Tikaboo is a fun trip, but you’re unlikely to see anything Papoose related (unless they take the mothership out for a spin).
The Sheep Range
This large range, west of Hwy. 93 and extending north from I-15 has some possibilities, but none that appear very promising. As of yet, I haven’t explored them for two reasons: The view doesn’t appear too hot and they are very tough to get in to.
I’ve calculated the sightlines from both Hayford Peak (elv. 9,900′) and Sheep Peak (elv. 9,750′) and found only the west half of Papoose Lake was visible. The east side remains obscured. Further, the distance is considerable, 47 miles from Hayford Peak and about 52 miles for Sheep Peak. This is further than what’s available looking from the south.
As mentioned, these are very rugged locations and access is difficult. 4wd will take you much of the way in from Hwy. 93, but the remaining part is strictly on foot over very inhospitable terrain, and quite a climb. Something for the truly deranged.
Still, there is possibly something special about Hayford Peak that might make at least one visit worth while. A few sentences in the current environmental impact statement for the NTS hint that a solar powered radio repeater placed by helicopter on Hayford, provides field coverage for Area 51. Maybe I’m deranged enough after all…
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