If you are coming from the Carson City area, come up US 50 to a junction with highway 28 and go north one-half mile from U.S. HWY 50 to the Spooner Lake State Park turnoff on the right side. Drive in, pay your $5 and park. This is a nice area to picnic with tables and rest room facilities so it can be busy on a summer weekend. Lots of bicyclists like to use the north canyon trail or in winter time, cross country skiers and snowshoers.
From the parking area at Spooner Lake, find the trail that leads north towards North Canyon. If you find yourself at Spooner Lake itself, go back and take the left fork on the trail from the parking area. When I was there it was well signed. Continue up the road and stay on the road. There is a modern outhouse facility on the road about half way up the canyon and after about 3 1/2 miles the road tops out at a saddle with a signed road going off to the right. This road was signed "Snow Valley Peak" 1 mile and heads straight up the hill utilizing a couple of switchbacks. It is a jeep road and as it levels out and heads north, you can just find a place that appeals to you and head cross country to the peak. Unfortunately, the peak is covered with antennas and a small building but the views are still spectacular. A register has been reported to be kept near the building but since I was there when snow covered the area I can't tell you for sure where it is located. Dennis Poulin stated in his trip report that you'll find it " just south of the building in a group of little trees and brush. There is a summit register in a concrete block at this point." This is also the highest point of Snow Valley Peak.
Summary: 9 miles roundtrip with 2000 feet elevation gain
Snowshoes or cross country skis in the winter / early spring
Hiking shoes and water in the late spring, summer and fall.
For more information on Spooner Lake and cross country skiing as well as a map, click here.
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