Carson City High Point Trip Report

Snow Valley Peak (9,214 ft)

Date: August 10, 2000
Author: Scott Surgent

Bring your bike! On NV-28, just west of the US-50/NV-28 junction near Spooner Summit is the entrance to the Spooner Lake Recreation Area. Pay the nominal fee, and park. I saw dozens of hikers, bikers and some on horses.

The route to Snow Valley Peak is 5 miles one way from the parking lot: 4 miles along forest road open to biking and the last mile up a steeper 4wd road that is closed to bikers. The biking portion along the forest road is mostly pretty solid. The road gains 1,100 feet over these four miles, and 500 of it is in the last mile, so the grade is reasonable. I did discover that hiking muscles don't necessarily translate into biking muscles, and I ended up walking my bike up the last little bit of the main forest road.

Just below the saddle at Point 8157, there is a junction for the road/trail up to the summit. Lock your bike and start walking up to the top. This is a sandy, steep 4wd track that appears to see some vehicle traffic (probably for the electronic stuff on the summit). Overall, this final portion is 1.1 miles to the summit, 1,100 feet of gain, with amazing views of Lake Tahoe starting about half-way up. At the ridge, ignore the Tahoe Rim Trail and continue on the road to the summit. Expect wind. I had cloudless skies.

After hiking down, I rode my bike out, taking care in the steeper areas and the periodic bits of sand. I'm not an expert mountain biker but took reasonable precautions and had a blast! The 4 miles out took about 20 minutes and the overall hike/bike took a shade under 3 hours.