Spring in Reno Tahoe is pretty much the best of both worlds. Not only can you still ski at your favorite mountain, but at lower elevations, the snow is melting, the wildflowers are blooming, and the waterfalls roaring. Here are some of our favorite spots to see where the wild things grow and where to go chasing waterfalls.
A sea of purple will take over the desert, as spreading phlox and the common purple mustard begin to bloom during April and May. Check out local hiking trails to see big-headed clovers and desert Indian paintbrushes. Part of the orchid family, the rare broad-leaved twayblade is predominately located in Tahoe and can be found around small creeks.
In the foothills, look for wild iris, California poppies and lupine to bloom in May and June. There are many popular hiking trails to see these wildflowers, including, Tom Cooke Trail and Upper Thomas Creek. Other great places to visit are Huffaker Hills, Washoe Lake State Park, and areas around Virginia City.
Mixed in with Nevada’s state flower – sagebrush – different types of buckwheat and Sierra primroses will be adding pops of yellow, pink and red throughout the region at all elevations.
If you decide to head into the mountains around Reno Tahoe, you can expect to see lilies, penstemon, alpine paintbrushes and wandering daisies as late as July. If you missed seeing the mountains covered in a blanket of white snow, the wandering daisy will fill the meadows with white blossoms. Lilies and alpine paintbrushes will add pops of color along the trails and are perfect for pictures of Reno’s vast and beautiful backyard.
Some of the most picturesque spots for wildflowers are Tahoe Meadows near Mount Rose and Lake Forest Beach in Tahoe City. The Mount Rose trail is a 1-2 punch with wildflowers and a gorgeous waterfall about 2 miles into the 4.6 mile (one-way) hike. Other Lake Tahoe area waterfalls include Glen Alpine Falls and Eagle Falls – both located on the south shore.