There are some great hiking trails within just a few miles of the main tourist area of Reno. Most of these hikes will take you into the foothills or the mountains that surround the city and you will have access to pine trees, aspen groves, flowers, and even wildlife like deer, squirrels, chipmunks and various birds. Here are the five best hiking trails in Reno.
This trail to the summit of Mt. Rose is one of the most popular and difficult hikes in the area. It starts at the Mt. Rose summit and climbs up over 2,000 feet to the top of the 10,778 foot mountain where you can get a view of Reno/Sparks, Lake Tahoe, Washoe Valley, Donner Lake and the reservoirs of Boca and Stampede in the North. The 12-mile round-trip trail wanders through forest, high desert, and meadows, and near some streams and waterfalls. Snow can stick around into late summer and the very top of the mountain can be windy.
If you have small children with you, or you don’t want such a hard hike. Head over to the Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Hike on the Mt. Rose Summit. This easy hike has views of Lake Tahoe and wanders through wetlands and mountain wildflowers.
Directions: From Hwy. 395 South, exit onto Route 431/Mt. Rose Highway. After about 27 miles you will see the summit parking area. There is a bathroom here and good trail markers.
This trail, which starts at the beautiful Davis Creek Park, will take you through pine and aspen forest up to the Tahoe Meadows area of North Lake Tahoe. However, you can stop anywhere along the way to get great views of Washoe Valley or the creeks and waterfalls along the trail. Davis Creek is about 25 miles south of Reno on the West side of Washoe Valley. The trail itself is 12 miles round trip with an elevation of 5,300 feet to 8,600 feet.
Directions: Drive south of Reno on U.S. 395 into the west side Washoe Valley then head south on Franktown Rd. Look for signs for Davis Creek Park.
Also just south of Reno is the beautiful Callahan Ranch hiking trail. This trail is an easy to moderate hike behind some rural estates and the world-famous Montreux Golf Course. The trail goes up into the foothills, crosses the Mt. Rose Hwy. and connects to the Galena Creek Trail system. The trail follows the year-round Galena Creek through sagebrush, pine, and willow groves.
Directions: On the Mount Rose Hwy. (Route 431) turn left onto Callahan Ranch Road. Go through two stop signs and park on the right at the Callahan Ranch public parking area. The trail starts here.
Several trails, including the White’s Creek and Jones Loop trail, are located at this pretty park in South Reno. It is located just off the Mt. Rose Hwy. and the trails take you up into the foothills. There are some smaller, easier trails that follow the creek, but the White’s and Jones trails are more difficult and longer. The hike to Church’s Pond at the top of the loop will be about six miles round-trip on a steep trail.
Directions: On the Mount Rose Hwy. (Route 431) turn right into the parking area of Galena Creek Regional Park.
Not to be confused with Callahan Ranch, this easy to moderate hike goes through the planned area of Caughlin Ranch in the West part of Reno. The beautiful landscaping and water features in this part of town are the main reasons for hiking this trail, but the trail does head up into the foothills above Reno. This is a great trail for children and you can hike as far or as long as you want. The trail officially starts at the Mayberry Landing shopping area.
Directions: From downtown Reno, get onto I-80 West and exit onto McCarran Blvd. Turn left on McCarran and head south to Plumb Lane. Turn right into Caughlin Ranch on Caughlin Ranch Parkway (just across from Plumb Lane). Park along the side of the road. Head south. The trail is paved until it hits the foothills. You can also park at the Mayberry Landing Shopping center and start from here. Look for the paved trail heading south.
Photo courtesy of [morganhh/Flickr]