OverviewWelcome to the City of Rocks!
Point 7015 and Point 7016 are two summits in southern Washoe County, Nevada on the eastern edge of the Lake Tahoe Basin. They are foothills of the Carson Range separated from the main ridge that rises above Lake Tahoe by a small valley aptly named “Little Valley”.
The area is adorned with boulders and rocky topped summits. Part of the reason for this stems from past rock slides at Slide Mountain 9698' about 5 miles to the north, depositing boulders on the hills below. Forest Service roads cut through the area, although access is tricky from the valley (see Red Tape below).
There are multiple rocky viewpoints from both of these summits, where there are great close up views of the higher mountains on the east side of Lake Tahoe. These mountains rise up less than a mile away, just across the valley.
Both summits can be hiked within a few hours; basically a little over 8 miles round trip from the start of the road. Hiking in this area is best done in fall due to the fall colors, and because the area has had a chance to dry out over the summer.
Getting ThereThe access road to Forest Service land is off Franktown Road in the Washoe Valley. To get there from Reno, take 395 South to Bowers Mansion Road (429), on your right. Head south for 2.8 miles and then turn right on Franktown Road (877). The road is on the right about 1.3 miles south on 877. It is very hard to spot. It is about ¼ mile south of J S Bar Ranch Road, which is also on the right. Once at the road, you’ll need to jump the fence (see Red Tape below for an explanation).
The first part of the access road that becomes the Forest Service road is private, and further up the road is owned by the University of Nevada. It says “No Trespassing”. We were told by a representative of the University of Nevada (who drove by us on the way up) that the road is closed to motor vehicles, but hikers are okay. However, the road is blocked by a locked fence and there is nowhere to park nearby the access road, because the locals in this area don’t like visitors. So, parking along the road can get you towed. Thus, it is wiser to park 2 miles away at Wilson Commons Park (best found on Google maps™), and possibly bike two miles to the access road. Just remember the bikes need to be light, because you have to jump the fence. The area is worthy of exploration due to the road system and the fact that you can actually access the east slope of some of the higher peaks of the Carson Range east of Tahoe rather easily. Also, because so few people come to this area, there is virtually no chance of losing your bike if you stash it on the side of the Forest Service road.
We did not attempt to access the area from J S Bar Ranch Road or the Aspen Creek/Tunnel Creek Road about 1.6 miles to the south. It may be possible to access the peaks through these roads, but Little Valley Road is the most direct. Probably the Tunnel Creek Road option is best if you have a 4WD and can maneuver through the area. If you want to hike from there, it is quite a bit longer than Little Valley Road. This area may also have similar access issues, although I cannot confirm this. If anyone reading this site has tried this option, please let me know.
While both options may have access issues, even if the restriction to access is unmarked, the letter above is inaccurate. There is at least access to this area via Hobart Road further south, but this heads to the Hobart Reservoir, and it is quite a bit north to get to Point 7015 and Point 7016.
Route InformationThe road starts at about 5180’. Head up the road, which becomes Little Valley Road, a Forest Service Road. There are several steep sections along the approach. Views are excellent. After about 2 1/2 miles up the road, it crests, and starts to descend. Before the descent, head through the woods to the left and scramble up the back side of Point 7015. It is pretty steep, with class 2 scrambling.
Once atop 7015, head towards the left edge, and Point 7016 directly in front of you. Descend about 300’. There are open spots to avoid most of the brush, but you will encounter it. Long pants are recommended for this reason. Head towards a road, which sits at the base of Point 7016. Head up the slope up to the ridge. There are a few summits over 7,000 feet on the ridge, all of which are composed of large boulders. However, the true highpoint is on the southernmost edge of the ridge.
On the way down, descend back to the road heading east. It is a better option than the way you came up, because there is a very quick and clear open woods approach the road, with only a short walk through brush. Head back down the road. Cross over to the back side of Point 7015, and go back the way you came.
You gain about 1835’ to Point 7015 in about 3 miles. Total elevation gain is over 2200’. Depending on the route taken, it can be even greater. The route I am explaining is the most straightforward. The total round trip via the most straightforward routes is approximately 8 miles from the start of Little Valley Road.