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Reno and Carson City Trails

Hit the Trails in Reno and Carson

America's Adventure Place has great mountain biking trails for all skill and adventure levels, while offering scenic views of the mountains and lake.

Dry Pond / Thomas Creek / Whites Creek / Galena Area

Difficulty: Intermediate

From Reno, take Hwy 395 South to Hwy 431 Mt Rose Hwy.  Follow Hwy 431 West to Timberline Rd. (about 5.5 miles.)  Take a right on Timberline Road and follow it north (about 1.5 miles.)  The road will pass the turnoff for Whites Creek which is on your left.  Continue North on Timberline Road, the road will turn to dirt, and cross over Thomas Creek.  Continue North past the Thomas Creek Jeep road which is on your left.  Just a little further is the parking for the Dry Pond / Thomas Creek ride on your left.  Park in the designated parking / day use area.  The single track starts in the South-West corner of the parking lot.  The single track goes south for just a little ways, and crosses over the Thomas Creek jeep road into a little camping area.  Go right or west through this area and the single track will start up again going due west following the creek.  In just under .5 miles, you will cross over the creek to the south side, and the single track will continue following the creek for another mile.  At this point you are at the intersection of the Dry Pond Loop to the left, and the continuation of the Thomas Creek Ride strait.  For the Thomas Creek Ride, skip down the page.

Dry Pond Loop

Difficulty: Intermediate - 6.5 miles 1300 ft. total elevation gain

Take a left and the single track starts to climb in a South-Easterly direction.  In 8 tenths of a  mile (2.3 miles from the start) you will encounter 3 very steep switchback turns.  In the early season, or after a rain, these are rideable, however, in the middle of summer they are very loose and difficult to clear.  Continue for another 3 tenths of a mile (2.6 miles), and you are at the top of the climb, climbing 450 ft from the sign and looking at dry pond with Mount Rose reflected in the water.  (Dry pond holds water in the spring, and dries out during the summer). 
Continue across the meadow on the West side of Dry Pond, and you will start a 8 tenths of a mile (3.4 miles) 300 foot down hill to Whites Creek.  After crossing the creek, you will take a left, East down the canyon.  Continue 5 tenths of a mile (3.9 miles), and keep your eye out for another single track that follows the banks of Whites Creek on your left.  If you miss it, it will come back to the road in just under 4 tenths of a mile (4.3 miles) and veer left again away from the road.  This single tr
ack will follow Whites Creek for another ½ mile (4.8 miles).  Here you have to watch for the single track to split.  Take the right split up the side hill to another single track.  Follow this single track 3 tenths of a mile (5.1 miles) where it will cross over the Whites Creek paved road and will pick up again on the other side.  Follow the single track again, and it will drop you out just above Timberline Road on Whites Creek paved Road.  Continue down the pavement and take a Left on Timberline Road and continue 75 tenths of a mile back to your car.  The total ride is 6.5 miles and should take the intermediate rider 1 – 1.5 hours to complete.

Thomas Creek Ride 

Difficulty: Intermediate - 1550 ft total elevation gain over 7 miles

From the Dry pond intersection, continue West on the left, South side of Thomas Creek.  The single track will continue for just over .4 tenths of a mile (1.9 miles from the start) where the single track cuts right and crosses over the creek.  In the high waters of spring, this can be a tricky crossing, so be careful.  Take a left on the jeep road and continue up hill.  Just ahead on the right is more single track.  I prefer to take the jeep road up, and take the single track down.  (You get a little more climbing this way.  (300ft in 4 tenths of a mile)  The road will continue west, then drop down about 100 feet back to Thomas Creek.  Right before Thomas Creek you will notice the single track entering on your left.  Cross over the creek on the jeep road (3 miles) and follow the road just over 4 tenths of a mile (3.4 miles) and you will see a Forest Service sign on the left side.  This is where another single track will drop you out later.  Follow the jeep road west.  There are two parallel roads to follow here.  Take the upper road west.  The lower road drops you off in a marsh.  Follow the upper road.  Very quickly you will come to a fork in the road, stay strait on the flat road.  From the Forest Service sign, you will continue .6 tenths of a mile (4 miles) to the start of the upper single track.  Take the single track to the left.  The single track continues in a Southerly direction up hill for just over 4 tenths of a mile (4.4 miles) at your highest elevation of 7400 ft.  The single track will take a left turn and continue west down hill for 6 tenths of a mile (5 miles) where it will intersect with the jeep road back at the Forest Service sign.  Follow the jeep road to the right, down hill.  Cross over Thomas Creek, and immediately after crossing the creek take a right on the single track.  This single track will continue about ½ mile down hill until it pops you out on the jeep road again.  Just a little ways down hill is your right turn and the same crossing you made before.  Be careful during spring runoff.  Cross over the creek to the south side and pick up the single track down hill to the Dry Pond turn off.  Here you can continue back to your car for 7 miles, about 1 – 1.5 hrs, or make the Dry Pond Loop for a total of 11 miles and 2180 feet of climbing.  This should take the intermediate rider 2 – 2.5 hrs.

Zolzezzi (Beat me up) Single Track

Difficulty: Advanced (1075 ft down hill over 4 miles)

The Zolezzi single track starts just as you cross over Thomas Creek on Timberline Rd.  You will see a dirt road to the right.  This jeep road dead ends into the single track.  This single track is 4 miles of rocks and a 1075 foot down hill.  It will cross over Arrow Creek Pkwy at 2.4 miles and continue the rest of the way to the top of Zolezzi Ln.  This single track is very rocky and unimproved, and is not recommended for the beginner or intermediate cyclist.  It is however a great hike.  For the Die Hard cyclist, try the Ride from Zolezzi Ln. back to Zolezzi Ln. including Thomas Creek and Dry pond as a loop.  Have fun and take lots of water.  This entire loop is 21 miles with 3400 ft of climbing, and should take around 3 hrs of ride time for the advanced rider.

Galena Park (Bitterbrush Trail) Loop

Difficulty: Intermediate - 436 foot climb over 2.76 miles

The Galena Park Loop starts at Galena Park.  Take the Mt Rose Hwy west past Timberline Rd. to Galena Park.  Park in the “North Entrance” parking lot.  You will see the single track trail start in the north-west corner of the parking lot.  Follow the signs to the “Bitterbrush Trail”.  The single track goes north, and comes to a “Y” at 8 tenths of a mile.  Take a right to stay on the Bitterbrush Trail.  If you go left you will climb very quickly to Mt Rose Wilderness where you will have to turn around and go back.  The Bitterbrush trail continues for another 1.75 miles (where it intersects the Whites Creek section of the Dry Pond Loop (see above).  At this point, you can do the Dry Pond Loop, or turn around and go back to Galena Park for a total of 5.4 miles.  This should take the intermediate rider about 1 hour. 

No-Fun Rocky Without Dirt Hill Clumb With a View

Difficulty: Advanced - 698 ft of climbing over 5 miles round trip

This is for the advanced masochistic rider only.  The road, if you can call it that, has no dirt for more than ½ the ride, just rocks.  It is steep, off camber, and bumpy.  It is a real test of balance and speed.  To start the ride, go to the north-west corner of the parking lot on Timberline Rd., and look for what appears to be a dried out creek bed with nothing but rocks in it.  This is your road.  Follow the no dirt road for 1.3 miles and you will come to an intersection.  If you go left at this intersection, you will come to a small pond that dries out during the summer months.  This pond is about the same size as Dry Pond.  Now turn around and retrace your steps back to the main road.  This road continues left in its no dirt rocky fashion for just about a mile until it too comes to a dead end with a great view of Reno.  Be careful going back.  This ride should take the advanced rider less than a hour to complete.

Genoa Peak

Difficulty: moderate - 8 to 12 miles (one way); elevation: 7,720-8,680 feet

Enjoy a moderate ride along a ridgeline with scenic views of the Lake Tahoe Basin to the west and Carson Valley to the east. Several spurs off the main road access peaks, Genoa Peak being the highest (9,150'). An excellent 10 mile loop off the main ridge is possible. NOTE: Mountain bikes are not allowed on the Rim Trail, from Highway 207 to Spooner Summit. From South Lake Tahoe, take Kingsbury Grade (Highway 207) and turn left on North Benjamin Road, which turns into Andria Drive. Continue to the end of the pavement and park. Take Genoa Peak Road (14N32). A longer trip is possible if you take two cars. Park the second vehicle off of Highway 50 behind the Nevada Department of Transportation Station (NDOT), 1/4 mile south of the Highway 28 and 50 junction.


Jones Creek-White's Creek Loop

Difficulty: intermediate; mileage: 8 miles; elevation: 6,200-7,000 feet

To get to the trailhead from Reno, drive south on 395 to the Mt. Rose Highway (431) junction. Turn right and head west for about 7 miles. Take the first (North Entrance) of the 2 roads going into Galena Creek Park. Once you've entered the park, follow the signs to "Trailhead" and park your vehicle. Jones Creek-White's Creek Loop offers a part singletrack, part jeep trail, out-and-back ride totaling 8 miles. Please know that this trail is well know and frequently gets crowded on weekends. It requires cyclists to be on their best behavior, showing courtesy to the numerous hikers and occasional equestrians they will encounter. Please, share the trail!

Mogul-Verdi Loop/Bull Creek Ranch

Difficulty: strenuous, intermediate; mileage: 9 miles; elevation gain: 2,500 feet

Go East from Reno on I-80 to the first Verdi exit (old hwy 40). Park at the wide spot in the road near the weir in the river. The gate off to the right is where you'll come down. After you park head back down hwy 40, on the road, to the freeway exit. Head west and go by the motorcycle area that runs parallel to I-80. Follow the fire road up Peavine (northwesterly direction) for about 6 miles and start looking for the singletrack that heads back down to Verdi. Make sure the brakes work good and head down the canyon to your car. On a side note, you can keep going up the fire road to the back of Peavine, through an aspen grove and to the top (8,500 feet). If you go to the top from Verdi it's nearly 4000 feet of climbing and nearly 30 miles round trip. Turning around at the beginning of Bull Creek Ranch singletrack makes it about 2,500 feet of climbing in six miles and that same amount down in only three miles. Remember bring plenty of water and be prepared for daytime temps that can reach 100 degrees.

Mt. Rose Downhill (Kamakaze)

Difficulty: strenuous Park at the Diamond Peak X-Country Ski area. Take the trail to the Fire Pit (yes, through) and ride through the fire pit. This ride is for those with a sense of adventure, as trail is not clearly marked. Ride for about 45 minutes to 1 hour to the Diamond Peak Ski Resort property. You will need to have two cars, one parked at Diamond Peak X-Country and the other at Diamond Peak Ski Resort. Or, if you want a longer ride you can do the loop back to where you started. The loop takes about 2 ½ hours.


Ophir Creek Trailhead

Difficulty: beginner

The Ophir Creek Trailhead accesses Ophir Creek Trail from the south end of Davis Creek Park. Bikers can access Price Lake and the Tahoe Meadows from this trail. This bike ride offers spectacular vistas as well as an up-close look at the impressive remnants of the 1983 Slide Mountain landslide. Call Davis Creek Park, 775-849-0684 for park hours and more information.

Peavine Mountain

Peavine Mountain hosts ideal habitat for wildlife. Aspen, willow, mountain mahogany, sagebrush, and Jeffrey pine, among other plants provide food and protection for many species. Peavine elevation ranges from 4,900 ft. to 8,266 ft. This seemingly arid high desert environment is habitat for deer, coyotes, foxes, badgers, rabbits and squirrels. The most accessible Peavine Mountain trails are located in the southeast portion of the mountain as it rises from the neighborhood of northwest Reno and Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. You can enjoy the following trails, according to your own level:

  • The Panoramic Loop
    Difficulty: advanced
    Mileage: 19 miles

  • Keystone Canyon
    Difficulty: intermediate
    Mileage: 4 miles
  • Hoge Road
    Difficulty: intermediate
    Mileage: 10 miles

  • Evans Canyon
    Difficulty: beginner
    Mileage: variable

Poeville Canyon Climb

Difficulty: intermediate; mileage: 5 1/2 miles; elevation: 5,360-6,380 feet

This ride is located on the eastern flank of Peavine Peak. The trailhead is located at the southeast corner of the Horizon Hills housing development. To get to this starting point from downtown Reno, go noth on Virginia Street, past McCarran and past Parr. At 4 1/2 miles from downtown, turn left to stay on North Virginia. A little over 2 1/2 miles from this turn, go left onto Seneca. Take Seneca for 1 1/2 miles, then turn left on Kiowa Way. Follow Kiowa until the pavement ends and the dirt parking area at that point is the Poeville Canyon Climb trailhead. This ride is not technically very difficult or very long, but it is relentlessly uphill. In addition, there are dozens of side roads along the route begging for exploration. Poeville is probable the prettiest of the Peavine canyons that leads to the Truckee Meadows.

Steamboat Ditch Trail

Difficulty: beginner; mileage: 43 miles; elevation: 4,600-5,000 feet

The Steamboat Ditch Trail is a 43-mile-long canal, finished in 1878, carrying water for irrigation. The ditch ends just south of the Steamboat Hot Springs (off US 395, about a mile south of the Mt. Rose Highway/Geiger Grade junction). There are many places to access the Steamboat Ditch Trail. Listed below are four of the more popular trailheads, starting points for riding the Steamboat Ditch Trail:

  • South McCarran: Take McCarran about 2 miles west of South Virginia and watch for where the ditch goes under the highway.


Toll Road Climb

Difficulty: strenuous; mileage: 12 miles; elevation: 4,515-6,360 feet

Head south from Reno on US 395 drive to the Mt. Rose junction and turn left on Highway 341 (Geiger Grade) toward Virginia City. After a 1/2 mile, Toll Road angles off to the right. Toll Road is the "old road to Virginia City." During the Comstock mining days, this road carried a tremendous amount of traffic and, according to old Virginia City newspapers, stagecoach holdups were ordinary occurrences. The ride is arduous (especially near the end) but much more peaceful and scenic for mountain biking than nearby Geiger Grade.

Courtesy of: R.W. (Ray) Miskimins

Mountain Biking Reno & Carson City Best Trails

Great Basin Bicycles,


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