OverviewDISCLAIMER: The "Add a Mountain" page says this about adding a new mountain: "The hill in your backyard is not worthy of submission." Well, Silver Peak is the hill in my backyard, so sorry for that. But since somebody added a page for Granite Chief, I figured I would add a page for Silver Peak, which is in the same neighborhood but is far less crowded and probably has better views.
Silver Peak is located north of the Squaw Valley Ski Area near the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe. Because it sits slightly east of the main crest in this area, it has fine views over Martis Valley, Lake Tahoe and the American River divide, as well as distant views out to the high summits of the Desolation Wilderness, Carson Range and Pine Nut Mountains. Getting to the top is a quick but sloggy hike from the Squaw Valley base area, and it makes for a nice diversion from the busy squallywood scene.
In winter, Silver Peak is a good ski tour. The downhill opportunities aren't as good as, say, the Desolation peaks, but there is some fine ski touring up on the flanks of Silver Peak. A climb of Silver Peak combined with an overnight stay in the Sierra Club's Bradley Hut north of the peak is a great intro to ski touring.
Getting ThereTake US 89 along the Truckee River. The easiest access is to turn up Squaw Valley Road (about 5 miles north of Tahoe City or 10 miles south of Truckee) and drive to the end.
You can also access Silver Peak from the Pole Creek drainage. To get there, take US 89 to a turnout located about 2.5 miles north of Squaw Valley Road (near the 6,000' elevation point on the road). This turnout is located roughly across from the Olsen Construction building on US 89. From here, a combination of dirt FS roads and trails will get you back into Pole Creek and the north side of Silver Peak. This approach is recommended in winter, as Pole Creek is great ski touring terrain.