Snow Valley Peak
Place Name: Carson City County
Place Description: State: Nevada
Elevation: 9,214 Feet
Prominence: 1,254 Feet
Elevation Gain: 2,444 Feet
Lists: Tahoe-Ogul, Great Basin, Nevada County High Points
A Long Meandering Trail
Snow Valley Peak sits on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe between the Tahoe Basin and Carson Valley just north of Spooner Pass. The trail follows the indirect and meandering Tahoe Rim Trail making for an easy day hike despite the mileage.
- Nice view of Tahoe
- Easy to follow trail
- Kid friendly trail
- Radio tower summit
- Trail meanders a lot
- Small parking area
If you are looking for excitement and adventure, you have come to the wrong place. Hiking to Snow Valley Peak is the total opposite of walking on the wild side.
Peak Bagging Lists & Prominence
Snow Valley Peak sits on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe and tops out at 9,214-feet. Most hikers that roll through this area are using the Tahoe Rim Trail and not really after bagging the summit. For peak baggers, the summit is attractive for it’s 1k prominence and spot on 3 main lists: Tahoe-Ogul, Great Basin Peaks, and Nevada County High Points.
The trail starts at Spooner Summit along Highway 50 and is both very easy to follow and graded for ease. In fact, it’s kind of frustrating at how it meanders through the woods. It’s every bit of six miles to the summit and could be longer if you decide to not cut off trail to gain the high ridge above you.
Once on the summit, the views of Lake Tahoe and Nevada to the east are nice. Unfortunately, the day we were up here, everything was smoked in from the Caples Fire. There is also a large communication center on top that does hamper the views. If you are looking for the register, check in the pile of cinder blocks and it is inside of it and you happen to find my sticker, please say hi!
During the hike, we only saw a few people which were returning from an overnight hike at Tahoe Meadows. The hike is mostly uneventful, the early area of the trail had a lot of brush and deadfall piles. This was more than likely fire control cleanup by the forest service. Every so often there are signed spur trails that have views of the lake.
The Final Word
With the abundance of trails in this area that are far superior, I probably will not head back to Snow Valley Peak anytime soon, but it was worth doing once for sure.
I rank this as 3 stars for being kid friendly mostly because the grade of the trail is easy. The 12 miles that is required to get there and back would greatly vary on the kid. My 8-year old son hammered it out pretty easily.
Parking is also very limited at the trail head, so get there early!