Sun Valley Peak P300

Apr 25, 2015

With: Pete Yamagata

Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile


The weather cooperated better than I had expected. A weak Pacific storm system had cruised over the Tahoe region dumping up to a foot of snow in the mountains and some rain in the Reno area where I was staying, but by midday it had mostly cleared out leaving partially cloudy skies and windy conditions, nothing that would prevent a good hike from happening. I had spent the morning and early afternoon watching more volleyball at the Convention Center and needed to get out to stretch my legs. Pete was happy to join me again for a second day though he had some reservations on my choice of hike locations. Like the previous day, I had picked a small hill in the north part of Reno that had barely 300ft of prominence. It was the highpoint of a small group of hills separating Sun Valley to the west from Spanish Springs Valley to the east. The area is mostly BLM land, or so I thought when Pete asked about it. As it turns out, it is BLM land, but like so many BLM properties, there are no signs that we could find indicating this. We met at the edge of a neighborhood on the east side of Sun Valley where we started our hike. The hike was a leisurely one, covering a little more than three miles with about 600ft of gain. We took about 20min to reach the unassuming top, which like most of the lower summits in the area lacks any sort of tree, leaving views open in all directions. I spotted a large white cross in the distance and made that one of the stops on our mini tour. Made of welded steel beams, it was a memorial to a 27yr-old who died back in 1999.

We saw one other person on foot, a woman coming up from the SE, on our hike. In addition, we came across half a dozen folks driving vehicles in the area. The first of these we mistook for a landowner that came out to chastise us for being on his property. Turns out, driving around on BLM land is just the sort of thing some folks like to do around here on a Saturday afternoon. They weren't driving fast or dangerously at all, just sort of cruising around at slow speeds taking in the sights above the surrounding valleys. The one downside to the area is the amount of trash deposited over the years. One can't help but be saddened that someone would dump old mattresses or a boat out on public lands without any consideration for the land or other visitors - just to save a few bucks at the county dump. Pete seemed to take this in stride better than myself. He'd gotten used to it and sympathized more with the plight of the poorer Reno residents who resorted to this.

On our way back we passed by a small rock outcrop that didn't have any prominence of note. Pete was surprised that I would ignore it to which I encouraged him to make the ascent himself - which he did, finishing with a classic Pete summit pose. He was in fine spirits and it was clear that our hike had done much to promote that. It was 5:30p by the time we returned to our vehicles and bid farewell.

If you're in the Reno area and would like to get together with Pete, you can contact him through his Facebook page. Pete is the author of the Northern Sierra Peaks Guide, a highly valuable resource for reaching 86 summits in the Sierra (and a few nearby ranges) centered around Lake Tahoe.

Anonymous comments on 04/28/15:
Hi Bob, I live in Carson City. Your comment about trash in Nevada on BLM land is right on, when you are talking Sun Valley. That area is prone to idiots dumping. But for the most part, we Nevadans are pretty proud of our public lands, we don't dump on them, and we try to clean up after the redneck losers.
I shouldn't have painted with such a broad brush, and changed some text to reflect that. The problem I think is proportional to how close one is to urban areas. I've seen the same issue on the east side of Reno, around Pahrump and plenty of places in CA, especially the Mojave near Barstow/Lancaster/Palmdale.
Al comments on 04/29/15:
Check out Peak 5180 just South of Moundhouse if you want to see trash, might want to wear gators it is so thick
Anonymous comments on 04/30/15:
First, 'gator' is an animal, 'gaiter' is a lower leg/ankle covering. Having lived in Northern Nevada for 30 years, I'd be happy to point out MANY spots where there is NO trash.
Al comments on 04/30/15:
I stand corrected regarding wrong use of "gators" instead of "gaiters". I have not lived in Nevada very long, however I have climbed 262 peaks in Nevada, and most of them do not have abundant trash. I chose to talk about one that I remember having more than its share as it seemed to fit in with Bob's experience on this particular thread.
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