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Reno NV Trip Ideas Please/Thankyou
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David Staszak
( - F
Reno NV Trip Ideas Please/Thankyou on 05/05/2006 10:45:35 MDT Print View

I live in the NY's Adirondacks, am experienced and fit. I don't get out west too often. I am planning to do a solo 3 day/night backpack near Reno NV from July 15 to 18. I am looking to see something unique & interesting (views, peaks, waterfalls?, hot springs? etc.), avoid the crowds, really would prefer a circle trip. 30-40 miles would be ok. Any suggestions? Oh,and any indication of the availability of water along the route would be good. Thanks a bunch.

Erich Foster
(erichlf) - F
Re: Reno NV Trip Ideas Please/Thankyou on 05/05/2006 22:38:45 MDT Print View

The only trail that I know around Reno that is a loop is the Tahoe Rim Trail, but that is 165 miles. However, one is able to get off the trail and get to a road at almost any point of the trail in relative ease. As far as water goes July will be pretty dry, and hot. Not as dry as August, but at that time it is beginning to become pretty dry. I believe the longest distance on the TRT without water is at most 12 miles. I think that was Mount Rose to Spooner lake. You can check out more information at

Edited by erichlf on 05/05/2006 22:39:56 MDT.

Ron Stoecklein
(rs7trout) - F
Desolation Wilderness on 05/21/2006 08:50:48 MDT Print View

I'd check out Desolation Wilderness--it's on the SW side of Tahoe--you'll find more lakes-streams---more of the "Sierra" feel than the East side of Tahoe--and it's been too long for me to dial you into routes--just check the internet for Desolation wilderness.

Glenn Squire
(gdinero) - F
Re: Reno NV Trip Ideas Please/Thankyou on 05/21/2006 11:40:17 MDT Print View

I did a hike in the Desolation wilderness a couple of years ago, and highly recommend it. I highly recommend the area which crisscrosses some famous trails including the Pacific Crest.

Edited by gdinero on 06/12/2007 16:42:54 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Desolation, Carson-Iceberg on 05/21/2006 12:30:46 MDT Print View

Desolation has a lot of nice hikes--it's where I go most often and I know it pretty darn well. It's also heavily traveled in midseason, should you want to "get away from it all."

Assuming you'll have a rental car or some way to get around, you might also head south into the Mokelumne or Carson-Iceberg Wildernesses. There are a lot of wonderful hikes there, and this year the wildflowers--for which the area is renowned--should be at their peak in July. (And bring the DEET.)

Edited by halfturbo on 05/21/2006 12:31:32 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
reno trip on 05/21/2006 12:37:38 MDT Print View

Mokuluemne and Carson/Iceberg would get my vote. Great scenery and the crowds are not as bad as Emmigrant Wilderness. You could also do Hoover Wilderness too. Beautiful area and you're on the Sierra Crest.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: reno trip on 05/31/2006 12:15:36 MDT Print View

This month's issue of Backpacker "California Edition" (I think that is where I read it) had a nice loop out of the Blue Lakes area in the Mokelumne Wilderness. It is probably a 75 minute ride south out of Reno, but much less visited than Desolation. Blue Lakes are where Tahoe locals go for great trout fishing. But since it is 10 miles of off-road to get there...there are plenty of lunkers for the hardcore. The PCT passes directly through the area and the route mentioned in Backpacker picks it up for the beggining of the loop.

In Desolation, I highly recommend a visit to Showers Lake. It is the highest lake in the Tahoe basin and sits in a nice little half cirque. There is a fantastic granite shelf at the opposite side of the peak above the lake that has outstanding views of the valley and part of Lake Tahoe in the far distance. Dardenelles lake is another nice one just below Showers but steer clear of Round Lake and Sawmill Lake which are accessable by 4x4.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Reno Trip on 05/31/2006 15:14:49 MDT Print View

Been to Dardenelles lake and will agree with Scott, it is beautiful and it is a wonderful place to visit.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Reno Trip on 05/31/2006 16:07:32 MDT Print View

One last suggestion which leans more to the unusual, since you are traveling so far. Lassen National Park is about 3 hours north west from Reno and offers a very "unusual" experience. Spent 5 days there last summer and the lunar landscapes and cinder cones...mud pots...and even a hot spring toward the south side of the park...are complimented nicely by the plentiful and pristine lakes and since it is the southern tip of the is more of the "one giant" mountain among the forest which makes for a very different experience from the Sierra's.

Peter King
(pking) - MLife

Locale: N. Nevada
Re: Reno Trip- Desolation or High Sierra on 06/02/2006 10:55:26 MDT Print View

Lots of good suggestions above, but to optimize your experience it would help to know how much of the Sierra you have seen in your past trips. Mokelumne and Carson-Iceberg are nice for avoiding crowds (I’ll be going down there soon), but IMO are not as unique and different from where you live as other options. The open granite of Muir’s “Range of Light” is mostly in the high country, from Sonora Pass or the Sawteeth down to Whitney, but Desolation is a nice miniature version. As noted above it can be crowded, being one of the most visited Wilderness Areas, but you can avoid crowds by going in from the south. From Reno you can get to the Twin Bridges trailhead in about 1.5 hrs, with nice views of Lake Tahoe on the way. Pick up a permit in south shore, which would likely be available because most people go in from the easier eastern trailheads. A 2000 foot climb (partly cross country) takes you into Desolation Valley proper with lots of open granite and areas to avoid crowds. sells a great map. One advantage of this trip is that it only goes up to ~8000’, so acclimatization would not be a big issue, especially if you have already been in Reno at 4500’. As a disclosure, BTW, while Desolation is close I don’t go there much because of the crowds. Others here know it better. Any comments from Rick D? Also, thanks to Scott for the Showers Lake details; sounds interesting. Note, though, that it isn’t in Desolation, but SE between Echo Summit and Carson Pass.

While Desolation is close to Reno, if you haven’t been in the High Sierra you should consider driving a few hours down the east side for a trip into the high country. With three days you could go into the Ritter/Banner area, the Tuolumne area of Yosemite, Rock Creek, or perhaps the Evolution area out of Bishop. Trailhead quotas can be an issue, so one approach would be to drive down to the Mono Lake visitor center where you can get recommendations, a permit and maps for many different places. You can also get permits by mail.

Note that our snowpack this year is twice normal, so there will be lots of snow (and bugs) in July at higher elevations. While this may limit access some places, it also opens up campsite possibilities with snow for water. Hope you have a good trip.