Point 4903 is located in the Virginia foothills in the eastern side of Reno, Nevada. It is technically a hill in somebody's backyard, since it rises above neighborhoods in the Hidden Valley area. However, it is quite underestimated as to its value as a summit. From the top there is an excellent view of Reno. One can see all the mountains encircling Reno. This includes the Virginia Range immediately to the east, Mount Rose and the Carson Range to the west, Peavine Peak
and Tule Peak
and the Pah Rah Range to the north, and Snow Valley Peak and Freel Peak to the southwest. Like nearby Rattlesnake Mountain
, it is also a good place to watch planes arrive and depart from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
It has a prominence of about 360 feet and reaching the summit takes no more than 15 minutes or so from the road below. So, this is not the most difficult summit to hike in the Reno area. However, the view from its summit and its accessible location, make it a worthwhile jaunt after the work day or just a place to take some time to sit in a quiet location to look at the city and its surroundings.
View of Reno, Nevada from the summit.
View of the northern end of the Virginia Range from the summit.
It is not recommended that people hike here during the summer months. Due to its low elevation it can get really hot during the day. One may run into rattlesnakes which like to sun themselves on the rocks. The best time to hike here is in winter, or in spring or fall during the evening, where one can watch the sunset over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
From McCarran Blvd heading eastbound from Hwy 395, pass Longley Lane and immediately get into the left lane. Turn left on Alexander Lake Road, which runs southbound just in front of Rattlesnake Mountain. Take Alexander Lake Road past the Huffaker Hills trailhead, and continue on as it winds around hilly terrain. It ends at a crossroads of two dirt roads. Point 4903 is accessed from the dirt road heading north.
To start the hike, you can either drive up the dirt road and find a place to park on the side of the road, or park at a dirt parking area where the paved road meets the dirt road. If you park here, a slight use trail heads north towards Point 4903.
There are various use trails at the foreground and on the slopes of Point 4903, but once at the base of the hill, the best way to get to the summit is to go straight up. There are lots of small boulders, providing good traction on the way up.
Heading up the slopes of Point 4903
One thing to watch out for is horse manure and other animal droppings. There are often many wild horses grazing in the area, although you aren't likely to run into them on the way up to the summit. They usually hang out in the area east of the dirt road.
Depending on where you park your car, it takes between 1/2 mile to 3/4 mile; and 360 feet to 450 feet of elevation gain to reach the summit. Once on the top, you can hike around for another half mile or so to a lower north summit (4853'). This makes for a more respectable 2 to 2 1/2 mile hike, with over 700' of total elevation gain round trip.
The slopes of Point 4903 do have some private land. There are generally fences denoting private land. At present there are no fences blocking access to the summit. From the dirt road east of Point 4903, a person can simply walk up the mountain without any restrictions and without trespassing on anyone's land.