The Mountains of Nevada •
Peavine Mountain • Highpoint: Peavine Mountains
• Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
• Washoe County

Peavine Mountain as viewed from the railroad tracks at the start of the dirt-road segment. The peak in view is actually the slightly-lower summit

View of both peaks from the road. The highpoint is to the left

My parking spot, elevation 7500 feet.

Now walking up the road

Round a bend, and there's the top

Looking back down at the low cloud ceiling

Getting closer to the top

The lower summit...

...and the highpoint

The top seems to be these rocks near the ugly pink building

Framing the lower summit between these two buildings. It's called art, man

Date: September 27, 2014 • Elevation: 8,266 feet • Prominence: 2,186 feet • Distance: 2 miles (jog-hike) • Time: 45 minutes (hike), 2 hours and 35 minutes (entire journey) • Gain: 750 feet • Conditions: Cold, misty and breezy


Peavine Mountain is close to Reno, where my wife and I were spending the weekend for a much-needed getaway from home. Among my plans was to hike to the top of Peavine Mountain. Logistically, it is very easy: it is close to Reno, and there's a good dirt road all the way to the summit. As things turned out, having this extra latitude helped me because the weather did not behave. The weekend was cold, rainy and misty.

We arrived in Reno about noon on Friday the 26th, and got to our hotel soon thereafter, staying at the Silver Legacy in downtown Reno. This weeked was the big "Street Vibrations" motorcycle rally. We did not know that before we arrived. The main street through Reno, Virginia Street, was closed to traffic. Fortunately, we were able to find the entrance to our hotel after trial and error. We got settled in and rested. A little later, I went out into the crowds to view the scene. There were bikers of all sorts from all over, and vendors, live bands, beer gardens, everything. It was quite a scene. Most of the bikers seemed to be from more mainstream biker clubs. The so-called one-percenter outlaw clubs were either not there, or keeping a low profile. Our hotel had signs all over forbidding the wearing of "colors" from these outlaw groups. Needless to say, it was crowded everywhere, especially back in the casino and hotel.

I was aware of the weather pattern. A storm was coming in from the Pacific, and it was expected to cover Reno (and most of the northwest) on Saturday and Sunday, clearing out by late Sunday. On Saturday morning, I monitored the skies and weather forecasts. The sky was completely clouded over in gray, but the ceiling seemed to be about 9,000 feet, and so far, nothing threatening. A little before 9 a.m., I got my stuff together and intended to scout the roads to Peavine Mountain, and possibly climb it if I had time and things worked in my favor.

I drove north on Sierra Street to Virginia Street, then north more through the University of Nevada-Reno campus. After a couple miles I turned left at a light, staying on North Virginia Street, now heading more west than north. A few more miles later, I was in the general area where Peavine Mountain Road branches off the main road. This is about a mile west of the junction with Stead Road off of US-395. The Peaving Mountain Road is dirt and not marked by a sign. There are two mailboxes along it and a maintenance yard nearby. This had to be it, and it was.

I drove south on this road, passed over a pair of train tracks, and drove up the road for about five miles. The road's condition was better than I expected, and my little Toyota Corrolla rental handled it well. I took it slow and carefully, avoiding rocks and ruts. I was now on the south face of the mountain facing Reno, and decided to park in a wide clearing about a mile short of the top as the road had became a shade too bumpy. I figured I was pushing my luck anyway. I was at about 7,500 feet elevation.

The hike went fast and was very easy. I followed the road around a bend and very soon, saw the highpoint summit. There are two main summits, one northeast of the other. The northeast summit is lower by about 10 feet than the southwestern summit. Both contain towers and both are ugly places. However, the hike was very pretty. The hills had gentle slopes and lines, and were bare of big trees except in the valleys. Instead, the hills were covered over in sage and other low, woody scrub.

I stayed on the main road as it curled around and came to a point between the two summits, then followed a lesser road up and to the highpoint. The actual tippy-top is apparently a pair of rocks nearby an ugly pink building. I got a couple photos and inspected the place, but given the weather conditions, didn't delay. I hiked down an ATV track that went southwest back to the main road. There, I met two guys on their quads. They were "amazed" I had driven a dinky passenger vehicle up this far. We talked for about five minutes. They were friendly and cool. However, it was starting to get mistier, so I jogged all the way back to the car, and didn't waste time, piling in and driving down back to the lower railroad tracks, where I parked and changed into drier clothes.

From here, I simply drove back to our hotel. The whole journey took me two hours, thirty-five minutes, and the hike portion forty-five minutes. I drove a total of 26 miles: eight to the Peavine Road junction, five to where I parked, then repeated coming down.

I was happy to visit this peak despite the weather. As things developed, the rest of the day was drizzly, while Sunday was rainy. We spent most of our time being lazy, napping, checking out the biker scene, eating too much, and gambling, including lucky me, winning $250 at slots after a $10 investment. Once I won, I walked away. That payday would pay for a couple meals and most of the car rental, so we made out okay.

Monday, our departure day, dawned clear and beautiful. We didn't have to fly out until later in the afternoon, so we drove to Virginia City, where we enjoyed a short tour of the Main Street. We then drove to Carson City and checked out the small apartment complex my grandfather ran back in the early 1990s before he died. Then, back to Reno and our flight home.

(c) 2014, 2019 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience. WHA