Hiking distance: 5 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 1,000 feet
Summary of hike: Elevation 5,000 feet, highest point 6,000 feet. Very hot hike in summer! You travel up a stark, steep canyon, climbing to a ridge, pass over and down a rocky slope and enter a forest. You will have to do a bit of path finding, ducking under branches and climbing over logs. There are a couple of small creeks, which flow into Hunter Creek from the west. You will finally hear the roar of a waterfall. To get to trail end, stay on the west side of the creek and travel up the very steep, pine needle covered slope.
Driving directions: Currently the Forest Service has no right-of-way agreement for access to this trailhead. The description for access given here utilizes previously established access to another trail, the Steamboat Ditch Trail. Take Highway 395 North to Interstate I-80. Head west on Interstate I-80 to W. McCarran exit. Go south (left) on W. McCarran to Mayberry Drive, the first street after you cross over the Truckee River. Go west (right) on Mayberry to Plateau (Juniper Heights subdivision), which will go up the hill to the south (left). Go left on Plateau up the hill and look for Mountaingate on your right. Turn right on Mountaingate and look for a pullout area with chain-link fences surrounding the confluence of two irrigation ditches. Park here. The Steamboat Ditch trail is accessed around the north end (your right as you face the fences) while you need to make your way around the south side of the fences. Follow the road around and up the canyon, across Hunter Creek and finally to the trailhead.
Jones Creek/Whites Creek Loop
Galena State Park
Hiking distance: 9.25 miles round trip
Summary of hike: Elevation 6,200 feet, highest point 8,300 feet. From Galena Creek Park trailhead you first travel for half a mile on a fire road to Jones Creek. Cross the creek and you will see signs for the Loop Trail. You will hike through a forest of White and Jeffery Pine, travel along the side of a sagebrush-covered slope, and enjoy wonderful views of the canyon.
Driving directions: From Highway 395 take Highway 431 (Mount Rose Highway), west toward Incline Village. About 7 miles up Highway 431 you will find the entrance to Galena Creek State Park. The trailhead is located in the back of the picnic area.
Hiking distance: 12 miles round trip
Hiking time: 5 hours
Elevation gain: 2,620 foot
Summary of hike: At 10,776 feet, this is the third highest mountain in the Tahoe Basin and it gives the hiker a truly alpine experience as well as great views of Washoe Valley and the Tahoe Basin. Snow remains on this peak well into summer, so it is best to hike it after the end of June. Watch for alpine flowers along the way, bring a camera for the views, and persevere up the 2,620-foot elevation gain because the summit is worth the hike.
Driving directions: Highway 431 (Mount Rose Highway) to the trailhead, which is a half-mile from the summit and next to a building and a gate. Follow this dirt road, which turns into a footpath after 2.5 miles.
Hiking distance: 7.5 miles round trip
Hiking time: 8 hours round trip
Elevation gain: 4,000 feet in 6 miles
Summary of hike: This hike follows Ophir Creek downstream as it snakes through Tahoe Meadows. The lush meadow is marbled with tributaries flowing to join Ophir Creek. A lodgepole pine forest borders Tahoe Meadows to the south while Mt. Rose rises up from the meadow to the north. The hike offers spectacular vistas as well as an up-close look at the impressive remnants of the 1983 Slide Mountain landslide, which started above Price Lake and ended across US 395. Originally there were two Price lakes (Upper and Lower). Now only Upper Price Lake remains. Brook trout can be caught in this lake and in the creek above the lake.
Tahoe Meadows begins 2 miles above Price Lake and continues to Hwy. 431. By crossing the highway, the trail can be linked to the Mt. Rose Summit Trail, the Mt. Rose Wilderness area and the Tahoe Rim Trail, which eventually will find its way to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Driving directions: Highway 431(Mount Rose Highway) to the trailhead pullout alongside the highway. The trailhead sign is located off the road.
Hiking distance: 6 miles round trip
Summary of hike: Elevation 7,400 feet, end of trail highest point 9,800 feet. You will encounter thick aspen and shade, and some parts of the trail are under water, so boots are recommended.
Driving directions: From Highway 395 south of Reno, take Highway 431 (Mount Rose Highway), toward Incline Village. Seven miles up the road look for Timberline Road which will be at the base of the mountains. Turn right (north) on this road. This road will turn to dirt 1/4 mile in. Follow the dirt road over a small bridge. Just after the next bridge, the road divides and goes three directions. Take the left road, which should have a thin brown Forest Service Road sign with the numbers 049 on it. Follow this road up the canyon, across the creek, up again and then around the south side of a meadow. At the top of the meadow there will be a body of water in the road. Drive through this water - it is about 2 feet deep - and park in the wide area in the trees just beyond.