Spanish Springs Peak is visible from parts of Reno/Sparks.This hike was challenging in the heat with a 2200 ft ascent in 3.5 miles. The approach to Spanish Spring Peak is via Warm Springs Valley, a remote area of mostly private land with a sprinkling of rural homes and disturbing signs of future development. On the way we were very pleasantly surprised to pass a herd of about 20 antelope (a.k.a. pronghorn deer) near the road. We don’t get to see pronghorns very often, so it’s special to see them, and then we ran into another smaller group on our descent from the peak! We also saw three rabbits, one mule deer, hawks, lizards, and small birds. Amazing to see more wildlife in the desert than up in the Sierra forest areas.

The climb to the peak was longer than we expected and the alternate descent we took turned out to be very steep. Following game trails (antelope and horse, from the tracks and scat, although we saw no horses) helped a lot in places, especially part of the descent. The views from the top were great!!

Photo Album

Track and Profile

Directions: Take the Pyramid Highway north from Sparks through Spanish Springs. Turn right on Ironwood Rd, immediately before the BLM wild horse holding corral. Turn south on Wilcox Ranch Road, stay on Wilcos past a short jog on Amy Drive, then right on Basque Oven Road. Park near the top of the valley. Spanish Springs Peak is not visible from this point, just head toward the ridge up a drainage to a saddle point. The easiest but long route goes all the way up to the ridge overlooking Reno and Spanish Springs, then backtracks toward the peak.

5.90 mi (2.96 mi uphill, 2.35 mi downhill, 0.49 mi flat)
2200 ft total ascent – 15.7 % uphill grade, 108.3 % downhill grade
5:35:09 total time (4:07:57 moving, 1:27:12 stopped)
0:41:58 pace (1.4 mph average speed, 3.7 mph max speed)
16.6 difficulty, 28.5 effort