When you think of hiking in Nevada, geographic diversity may not be the first thing that springs to mind – but hear us out. When you’re in the Reno area, you’ll find everything from the verdant forest trails of Lake Tahoe to wetlands, waterfalls, and dusty desert terrain near the Biggest Little City in the World. No joke. Here’s a closer look at hiking near Reno.
Hiking Near Reno
Popular Reno-Area Hikes
- Offering stunning views of waterfalls and creeks, the Hunter Creek Trail in south Reno is a roughly 6-mile out-and-back trek that’s popular with locals.
- Also in south Reno, the Galena Creek Trail offers 4.7 out-and-back miles of easy-to-moderate hiking on a path that’s popular with mountain bikers.
- In the Mount Rose Wilderness, the Thomas Creek Trail is up to 14.7 miles (out and back, or as much or as little as you want) and it offers a gorgeous waterfall plus a peek at nearby Lake Tahoe if you make it to the top.
- Considered a bit challenging, take the Evans Canyon Trail to Keystone Canyon Trail Loop – just over six miles – for birding and wildlife viewing.
- The Galena Creek Visitor Center is an excellent hub for hikes of all variety. Options range from the 0.4-mile Visitor Center Interpretive Trail that’s handicap-accessible to the Jones-White Creek Loop Trail, a strenuous 10-mile loop with almost 2,500 feet of elevation gain.
- Take in 360-degree views of Reno from the Huffaker Park Lookout Trail, a roughly 2-mile loop not too far from the heart of the city.
- Weave your way through southwest Reno as you follow the 15-mile out-and-back Steamboat Ditch Trail for excellent mountain and downtown Reno views.
- Also popular with equestrians, Hidden Valley Regional Park features five trails and loops up to 2.4 miles in distance with chances to see wildlife and wild flowers.
Travel Nevada Pro Tip
Take the Tahoe Rim Trail for Iconic Views
Worthy of its own category is the nearby Tahoe Rim Trail, a world-renowned stretch of hiking (and mountain biking!) if there ever was one. Stick close to Reno and opt for the 25-mile portion of the trail that takes you from Mount Rose to Spooner Summit in North Lake Tahoe. From steep slopes to sweeping views of the lake beyond miles of pine trees, this challenging hike can take all day and then some, but is completely worth the effort.
Other Trails for Hiking in Reno
There’s plenty of great hiking well within the city limits if you don’t want to wander too far from the center of Reno on your next visit. Try these hikes:
Hike to the ‘N’
Fans of the University of Nevada Wolf Pack may already be clued in to the fact that there’s a giant white “N” written on the side of a hill near Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. What they might not know is that they can — and probably should — hike to it. An easy-to-moderate 1.9-mile out-and-back hike, it provides awesome panoramic views of Reno below.
Rancho San Rafael
The nearby Rancho San Rafael Nature Trail is considerably longer and tougher. This seven-mile loop takes just under three hours, but is worth it for the varied terrain, elevation changes, and — if you’re there at the right time of year — the wildflowers that bloom along the trail.
Oxbow Nature Study Area
Meander along a peaceful stretch of the scenic Truckee River on the Oxbow Nature Study Area Nature Trail for a short-but-sweet .8 miles that’s open during all seasons. Dogs aren’t allowed on this one!
Caughlin Ranch may technically be considered the suburbs, but don’t let that fool you. Caughlin Ranch Trails can easily keep you occupied for a few hours, offering views of top-dollar homes, creeks, ponds, and wildflowers along easygoing grades. There are benches for resting along the trail, making this one of the most accessible trails in the city.