OverviewPeak 7036 is a rocky summit in the Flowery Range, an offshoot of the Virginia Range of Northwest Nevada.
Views from the summit are spectacular, with mountains on all sides, including views of the surrounding mountains in the Virginia Range and Flowery Range, as well as excellent views of the Sierra Nevada, the Pine Nut Mountains, and the Pah Rah Range.
The primary route is from the southeast. There are a couple other routes with some access issues. The slightly shorter northwest route is also described below, which starts on BLM lands, but involves more bushwhacking. The most direct route (from the north), is described in the "Red Tape" section.
Once atop Peak 7036, the highest peaks of the Flowery Range are in view, including Rocky Peak 7082’, Horse BM 7163’, Tibbie Peak 7277’, and the Flowery Range HP 7337’. It is possible to do a combination from the southeast route, but hiking these peaks will add significant hiking time.
The best time to hike up Peak 7036 and the Flowery Range in general is probably late fall (November, December) and late winter/early spring (February, March, April). During summer, temperatures are far too high. The area gets pretty snowy during the heart of winter.
Getting There and Route from the southeast approach
From Reno, Nevada take 395 to exit 57B, or take exit 61(Virginia Street) and drive south. Either way leads to Highway 341, the Geiger Grade. The Geiger Grade is a mountain pass road from Reno to Virginia City. It winds through the hills of the Virginia Range for about 15 miles after leaving Virginia Street in south Reno. Once in Virginia City, look for signs to Six Mile Canyon Road. This is a narrow paved road that leads from Highway 341 to US Highway 50 in the Dayton Valley. Continue down the road, and drive past the Sugarloaf Rock Formation on the left. Continue for 1 ½ miles. There area couple roads in the area near mining operations. One has a No Trespassing Sign. The one just past it has no such sign. There are large power lines at the base of the road.
The road starts at only about 4770’ or so. Follow the power line road for about 2 miles. There is then a “Y” junction. Take a left and head up to the ridge. Once on the ridge continue west (left)towards Peak 7036. You will descend to a road heading up towards the summit of Peak 7036. It comes within about 200’ of the summit. You have to bushwhack/scramble the rest of the way, which is pretty easy.
All told it is about 7 1/4 miles round trip from the power line road, with a one-way elevation gain of over 2,550’. You can also loop it to gain the ridge by heading right at the "Y" Junction towards Rocky Peak. That only adds about three-quarter miles total to the trip as you will reach the ridge and then walk up to the power poles on the left and gain the road.
Getting There and Route from the northwest approachFrom Reno, Nevada take 395 to exit 57B, or take exit 61 (Virginia Street) and drive south. Either way leads to Highway 341, the Geiger Grade. The Geiger Grade is a mountain pass road from Reno to Virginia City. It winds through the hills of the Virginia Range for about 15 miles after leaving Virginia Street in south Reno. Once in Virginia City, look for signs to Six Mile Canyon Road. This is a narrow paved road that leads from Highway 341 to US Highway 50 in the Dayton Valley. The parking area is a dirt road about 1 ½ miles down the road from Virginia City. The dirt road is located on the north side of the Six Mile Canyon road (left side of the road if coming from Virginia City). Find a place to park on the dirt road, just past the pavement.
Follow the dirt road as it heads straight north. About 1/3rd of a mile up the road, several dirt roads cut to the right and up the slope. Follow these roads as they wind northeast up the hillside. There is a point about ½ mile up where the road has a u-shaped turn. Just when the road turns back the other direction, another road heads to the left side of Flowery Peak, the mountain's summit above the road.
After about ½ mile and 335’ of elevation gain, you reach a saddle between two pointy summits, just north of Flowery Peak. Continue on the road. Head to the left of the pointy summit to the north. The road descends about 100’ in ½ mile and ends at a T-junction. Head directly up the slope for about 320’ and you reach a road just below Long BM 6861’. Take a right on the road, and follow down for roughly ½ mile until you reach an old abandoned house. Directly across the house is a dirt road. Follow it for about 250 yards, and then leave the road on its left side and bushwhack up to Point 6590. From here you can see the summit less than a mile away. It is pretty obvious how to get there. You must descend and climb another slope, and then you can head cross-country through the woods directly to Peak 7036.
Once at the base of the rocks, it is an easy scramble up to the summit. From the summit, you can see a road below that is an obvious way back down which connects to the road you take below Long BM. However, the road is private and listed as “no trespassing”. Therefore, you must descend the way you came.
All told it is about 7 miles round trip from the parking area on BLM land, with a one-way elevation gain of a little under 2000’. Add Flowery Peak on the way and it becomes 8 ½ miles round trip and adds just under 700’ more of elevation gain.
Red TapeThere is no red tape hiking from the main routes. Just drive slowly down Six Mile Canyon Road, because the speed limit is 20 MPH for the first ½ mile or so. The road is also pretty windy.
For the second route, the parking area described above is on public lands. There is a sign warning people not to target shoot in the area; and interestingly enough, there are plenty of empty shells not far from the sign. The BLM boundary does not extend fully to Long BM or Peak 7036, but there should be no signs indicating private land if approaching via this route. Just bushwhack up, because the road leading up the west side has a house on it and is off-limits.
There is a more direct route from Lousetown Road which runs directly north of Peak 7036. The problem here is that Lousetown Road is part of a private residential area that is technically off limits. Lousetown Road and Cartwright Road, which both are accessed by Highway 341 (Geiger Grade), are connected via this paved loop. There are at least several hundred if not over 1,000 residents in this area. So, if someone was to go to a house party at one of these residencies, they would not be in violation of trespassing. Same if you were asked by a real estate agent to take a look at some property currently for sale (there is a lot of it in this area). Thus, if you wanted to be perfectly safe, you would probably need permission from at least one of the many residents in the area, or hike with one of the residents in the area, or talk to a real estate agent in Virginia City. Peak 7036 itself is not technically within this residential area, so it should not be considered off-limits; just accessing it from Lousetown Road is the problem.
Once on Lousetown Road, there is a non-descript dirt road on the right hand side about 1 mile from Highway 341, past a wooden house with a windmill. As of December 11, 2010, there were no signs indicating the area is off-limits, besides the sign at the entry to Lousetown Road. Another road cuts up to the left and heads directly towards Peak 7036, but a no trespassing sign appears about 5 minutes up. For this reason, the route from this area is not up this road. Rather, continue on the main road towards an abandoned old wood house. Directly across from the abandoned house is a road that isn't off-limits. You can walk slightly up, but it starts to descend. At this point you have to bushwhack up the forest, which makes for quite a slog. However, even with this slog, it only takes about 1 ½ miles to get to the top from a parking area on the dirt road past the wooden house with the windmill to reach the summit, with 700' of elevation gain.
As for hiking the other mountains, including Rocky Peak 7082’, Horse BM 7163’, Tibbie Peak 7277’, and the Flowery Range HP 7337’, Rocky Peak and Horse BM are both accessible via the primary route. However, hikers must turn right at the T, instead of left towards Peak 7036.