In May, 2008 my wife and I wanted to go on a camping trip with our new tent trailer. I chose northwest Nevada because I thought it would be warmer than home in Oregon and there were a number of nearby peaks that I wanted to climb. We camped at the marina at Pyramid Lake and paid $20 per night for that privilege. Most people go to Pyramid lake for the fishing, but it must have been a little slow this year because there were several empty camp spots. Pyramid Lake is the only place to get gas and supplies for miles around.
We didn’t escape winter by going to Pyramid Lake because the wind was blowing hard and it was raining. After surviving the first stormy night, we did some driving the next day and drove up Virginia Peak and Peavine Peak. It was definitely winter on the top of both of those peaks.
The second day, I was determined to do some hiking, so my wife stayed in the campground and I headed for Dogskin Mountain and Petersen Mountain. After hiking Dogskin, I headed over to Petersen Mountain. I was surprised to find such a nice trailhead where I parked. The weather didn’t look bad even though it was a little windy and cloudy.
I put on my daypack and headed up the hill towards the spring. It was easy hiking through the sage and I made good progress up to the spring and then to the saddle above. The views from the saddle were nice, but I noticed some of the surrounding mountains were getting hammered with black clouds hanging over them. I kept going and enjoyed the nice jeep track trail. When I crossed the second saddle I could see the summit ahead in the distance. This little valley along the summit area looks like a great place for wildlife to hang out because there was both green grass and water. I saw no wildlife though and just hiked all the way to the summit hill. I left the trail and climbed the last few hundred feet up the high point.
Just as I arrived at the high point, the weather closed in and it began snowing on me. I thought it would only last a few minutes, so I waited for it to clear. After about 15 minutes, I was getting cold, my fingers were numb, and I headed down. I crossed the long summit valley again and by the time I was half way down the slope to the trailhead, the weather had cleared and I was again enjoying the hike. This was a nice hike and I would like to do it again when the weather is better.
Total hike was 6 miles, gained 2,000 ft, and took 3 1/3 hours.
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