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Granite Hills Highpoint
Mountain/Rock

Granite Hills Highpoint

 
Granite Hills Highpoint

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Nevada, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.65085°N / 119.9391°W

Object Title: Granite Hills Highpoint

County: Washoe

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 6018 ft / 1834 m

 

Page By: hgrapid

Created/Edited: Dec 25, 2012 / Dec 28, 2012

Object ID: 831416

Hits: 839 

Page Score: 75.81%  - 6 Votes 

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Overview

Located less than 15 minutes from downtown Reno, Nevada, the Granite Hills are a series of rocky hills crossed by numerous dirt roads and full of brush and windswept plateaus. The Granite Hills aren’t too much different from other hills in the area. They are similar to the nearby summits in the Northern Lemmon Valley, including Peak 6021, Peak 6041, and Hungry Mountain. The Granite Hills are west of the Lemmon Valley, rising just west of Silver Lake, which rarely has much water in it to even call it a lake. On the west side is the White Lake Playa. The Granite Hills run about 5 1/2 miles north-south with a prominence of nearly 670' at the highest point.

View east on the descent from the Granite Hills after a big snow storm
View east from the descent down to Silver Lake


The accessibility of the Granite Hills cannot be overstated. With two primary trailheads within about half a mile off a major highway (US 395) just minutes from downtown Reno, these hills are practically in the backyard of tens of thousand of nearby residents. Another primary route from the northwest isn't much further off the highway.

The Granite Hills clearly see visitors, but they are dramatically overshadowed by nearby Peavine Peak 8,266’, which dominates the view south from the Granite Hills.

View towards Peavine Peak while descending from the Granite Hills
Peavine Peak north face from the Granite Hills - Christmas Day 2012


Although there are a number of ways to reach the table-like highpoint of the Granite Hills, there are three primary starting points, all of which are not far off of US 395.

Once on the summit, there are tremendous views of nearby desert peaks. The best time to hike here is probably in late fall (Nov-Dec), mid-winter (Late Jan-Feb), when it is still dry and often snow free. Spring can be nice, but beware of muddy conditions. Early fall is possible, but only if it isn’t too warm. Winter hiking is certainly doable as well, as long as you stay on the road.

Granite Hills Highpoint 6,018
View to the summit from the south

Getting There

For all routes, from Reno drive north on US Highway 395.

For the eastern approach take Exit 78 – Red Rock Road. Head north for about ½ mile and there is a dirt road on the left, just across the street from some large warehouses.

The dirt road winds uphill with a view towards a rocky mountainside on the right side. After about ½ mile over 450’ is gained.

View from early on the trail down the east side with Silver Lake below
Early on the switchbacks, view to Silver Lake


You are now at the base of a road and a very steep hill that climbs 200’ in about 200 yards to the main ridgetop plateau. You can avoid it by staying on the main road, which is more gradual. This adds about ¼ mile each way. The main road continues all the way to the rocky summit, with a little less than two miles to go once atop the plateau. The round trip hiking distance is between 5 ½ and 6 miles. The elevation gain is about 1,100’ one way to the summit.


For the western approach take Exit 80 – Reno Park Blvd. Once off the exit, head north for less than a tenth of a mile, and there is a dirt road on the right side. After some switchbacks and a little over half a mile up the road, there is a Y-junction. Stay right, and follow around to a plateau. The majority of elevation gain has been achieved. Continue on the road as it winds around to the northwest side of the summit. The round trip hiking distance for this route is about 3 ½ miles. The elevation gain is about 950’ one way to the summit.

For the northwestern approach take Exit 80 – Reno Park Blvd. Continue up Reno Park Blvd for about a mile and a half. Just before entering the residential area of Cold Springs, turn right on Crystal Canyon Blvd. About 200 yards up on the right is a jeep trail where you can park. Head up the road about 1/2 mile, which is very steep (over 500'). Take a right on a large road heading south. This road crests two small hills, and after about a mile you will take a left on a road leading south. After you take the left, follow the road for 250 yards and take a right on another road heading towards the summit. The round trip hiking distance for this route is about 4 miles. The elevation gain is about 1175' one way to the summit.

Approaching the highest point in the Granite Hills
Approaching the Granite Hills High Point

Red Tape

There is no red tape for any of these routes. Park on the dirt on the side of the road and you should have no issues. These routes are entries to public lands.

Images

View east on the descent from the Granite Hills after a big snow stormView west into California on a snowy Christmas Day View towards Peavine Peak while descending from the Granite HillsGranite Hills Highpoint 6,018\'View up to a rocky area early on the roadApproaching the highest point in the Granite HillsView to the Petersen Mountains from the Granite Hills High Point.  Christmas Day, 2012
View from early on the trail down the east side with Silver Lake belowView to the Petersen Mountains from the Granite HillsZoom shot of the summit block