Carson City Highpoint Trip Report

Snow Valley Peak (9,214 ft)

Date: July 19, 2005
Author: Rich Wilson

(formerly known as Ormsby County)

With triple-digit highs forecast for Carson City, we elected to use the Tahoe Rim Trail for this hike, rather than the lower North Canyon access mentioned in some previous reports. This newer trail was built to modern standards. It maintains a reasonable grade, with no unnecessary ups and downs. The trailhead is reached via US 50 and is located on the north side of the highway right at Spooner Summit.

The final 1.5 miles traverses the west side of the peak, with panoramic views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. At a junction about 5+ miles in, we took a right on a jeep trail for the final 270 vertical feet. A register placed in 2000 is located in a concrete block, right at the highest point. Impressive views were had up and down the Carson Range, from Mount Rose in the north to Freel Peak in the south. One of the finest views of Lake Tahoe lay at our feet -- though not THE finest (Rubicon Peak).

Hikers should be aware that the 1.5 mile traverse is largely without shade and should be avoided during hot, sunny afternoons. There are lines found along the east ridge just north of the summit. I noticed them 14 years ago but when I asked the Forest Service, they didn't know what I was talking about.

Climb statistics: 12 miles round trip; ascent time 2 hours 40 minutes; net elevation gain 2,070 feet.