Ride Report: Peavine Mtn to Petersen Mtns

Typical road on Peavine, Looking to Peterson RangePeavine Mountain is one of the most famous peaks on the Reno skyline, possibly third to Mt. Rose and Slide Mountain. Peavine is by far the most popular area for mountain bike riding. The land managers are varied from city/county parks, private property and the Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest. Many locals still believe the Bureau of Land Management is the primary land manager for Peavine, but not true. The Biggest Little Trail Stewardship (formerly Poedunk) is the local trail building group responsible for the network of singletrack on Peavine. In addition to the singletrack is a network of dirt roads, jeep/ 4×4/ fire roads, and quad and motorcycle tracks through the scrub forests. There is plenty of breath taking climbing. descending and views of the area on this 8,266′ peak of nearly 2,186′ of prominence.

For this ride, my ultimate goal was Petersen Mtn, a range of mountains I have seen on many of my road rides as well as dirt road tours north of Reno. The Petersen range runs from Bordertown/ Cold Springs in the south to the north end of Red Rock Road and US 395 along the California-Nevada border. While North Virginia Rd is probably the easiest way to start this route from Reno. I wanted to include some great dirt roads on Peavine.

I started at the trailhead of Hoge Rd and continued on FS 41652. Luckily there are forest service carsonites marking these roads. FS 41652 connects to Hopi Ln. While this sounds like a harmless neighborhood road it is a challenging loose and at times off-camber climb. Two notable landmarks are a pond (Second Pond in local lexicon) and a prominent mine just below Peavine Rd.

I descended Peavine Rd, past the Poeville Mine (est. 1864), to North Virginia Rd. From here I had great views of Petersen Mtn. I followed N. Virginia until it turned to dirt which took me over Dry Lake Summit and dropped me into Cold Springs south of our local playa, White Lake.

North Virginia Rd, looking down at White Lake and Cold Springs

I was not sure what would be my best approach to Petersen Mtn so I skirted the east slope on County Highways 295 and 293. Again a county highway sounds pretty benign but this dirt road was a mix of everything from hard pack and rocky to a arroyo of deep sand. While my Fargo is equipped with 29×2.4 Tioga Venture tires, which keep me rolling in most of Nevada’s conditions, I ended this reconnaissance ride after a sandy uphill hike-a-bike. I exited to the east following established dirt roads and intuition which finally dumped me out on Red Rock Rd.

I hope to make at least two more trips out to this area. One trip will be to finish the route on County Highway 293 and the other will be to find a high route on the Petersen ridge. Maybe they can be combined into a multi-day route in cooler weather.

County Highway 293; a river of sand

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