OverviewFreds Mountain is a mountain ridge north of the Reno-Sparks area in northwestern Nevada. Not well known outside local circles, Freds Mountain offers a splendid jaunt up into the desert mountain landscape without traveling far from civilization.
Freds Mountain is visible from many parts of Reno, as a tall brown hill to the north beyond Peavine Peak. It isn’t part of any single mountain range, but rises up on its own from the valleys below.
Views are excellent because it is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The northern Sierra Nevada are visible to the south, while the highest mountains in the nearby Pah Rah Range are prominent in the eastern skyline. Mountains surrounding Pyramid Lake are well viewed, including Tule Peak and Tohakum Peak. A small part of Pyramid Lake is visible from the summit.
Freds Mountain is best hiked in late fall or wintertime. Mud can be a problem in the springtime, and excessive heat and snakes are a problem during the summer. The best times of year to hike are late October through early March. Do not hike after a rain or snowstorm as mud can get pretty bad, not just on the mountain, but on the dirt roads in the area.
Getting ThereFrom Reno take 395 North to Exit 78 in Cold Springs (Red Rock Road). Follow Red Rock Road north for 7.9 miles, and turn right at Antelope Valley Road, a well graded dirt road. Follow east for 2.6 miles and then take a left on Freds Mountain Road.
The road curves left around a hillside. Find a place to park once the road straightens out and is heading directly towards the mountain. There is space to park on the left side of the road. This is a little over ¾ miles up the road.
The easiest approach is up the southeast side. Start the hike by walking up Freds Mountain Road until you see a brown little horse stable, or something of the like, on the right. Take a right on a sandy, well-worn road that heads past the horse stable, and follow it as it winds towards the Freds Mountain ridge to the north. Eventually you will reach a gate, which signifies public lands. Walk around the gate and continue up the road until you reach the base of the ridge. The road continues to the east side of Freds Mountain. Do not stay on the road. Instead, head up the ridge.
After an initial 200' hike up the ridge, you crest a hill. Descend slightly and the hardest part of the hike comes. It is a 500' climb in about 0.4 miles. After reaching the top of this section, the rest of the hike is pretty easy.
In total, once leaving the road, at about 6200’, it is about 1 1/3 miles to the summit with a little over 1,000’ of elevation gain. There is a faint trail at times, but the land is pretty open, so the route is pretty straight forward. Overall, the hike from the suggested parking area is about 5 1/2 miles round trip, with the elevation gain to the summit of about 1600 feet. In total expect 2½ to 3 hours of hike time.
There are other ways to approach Freds Mountain, either from the west further up on Red Rock Road, or from the east from the Antelope Valley. However, the route described above is the most direct and probably the most scenic.