Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Peavine Mountain - Verdi Trailhead

Trail: Dirt roads and singletrack, often rocky and loose

Distance: Approximately 14 miles, depending on route, with about 4,000' elevation gain

Difficulty: Challenging

Trailhead: From north Tahoe, take I-80 east. Exit Verdi, and take the main road (hwy 40) for several miles through the town of Verdi. You'll see Peavine on your left. As the road curves back toward the freeway, look for a dirt pull-out on your left.

Season: Year round, with some snow in the winter months

Water: Bring plenty, because once the snow melts, the slopes of Peavine are dry. With no tree cover on much of the mountain, temperatures can be devastatingly hot in the summer and water will be important.

Trail Description: I was looking for some solid vertical gain and descent for my run, and I knew I would find it at Peavine. Jenelle joined in my plan to simply climb up to the summit at 8,200 feet and turn around. There are plenty of options for trails or roads to climb. Since there are no trees and the views are vast, it's easy to stay well-oriented. We weren't sure exactly what route we needed to take to reach the summit, but we weren't too worried about getting lost.

We began climbing immediately, and after a mile or so, our run melted into a well-paced hike. We were both thankful for a last minute decision to run in shorts instead of tights since the temperature felt unseasonably warm.

Depending on your trail choices, the climbs can be quite steep.

Summit shot with the dogs.

Most of the trails are unmarked, so depending how far you plan to go, it's a good idea to pay attention to your surroundings. You may also encounter mountain bikers and other trail users on dirt bikes or quads. Everyone is typically quite polite and will slow down to pass. 

The mountain was quiet for us and the views peaceful on the long haul up. We followed a similar route that is part of the Silver State 50 course, and I can tell you that it's much easier without 35 miles already on the legs! Still, it's early season, and this run was a solid workout for me for December. 

 The run back to the car was more pleasant than I had expected. It's a quad-pounder for sure, and some of the terrain is steep and loose. Somehow though, I felt great. Just wonderful.