Fall Color Rides Out of Reno

From the workbench of shop manager, Kurstin Graham

It’s that time of year to see vegetation change color in the high desert! My favorite rides/hikes/drives out of Reno are the following:

  1. Peavine Road: From the Stead side of the mountain, this well maintained road “corkscrews” for thousands of feet above our home. The North Valleys and Truckee Meadows have great trees and the road gives 360 degree views of the area on your way to the radio tower summit. Along the way there are unique drainages and springs hosting a variety of flora including aspen groves with their own brilliance. Beyond Peavine Rd there is a great selection of trails and roads to explore by bicycle or foot.
  2. Galena Creek Park: Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Spaces provide so many outdoor experiences. Galena Creek Park is a trailhead for Jones/Whites Creek and Dry Pond mountain bike and hiking trails. I especially like the “Tahoe feel” in the mixed forest at this mid-elevation trail system.
  3. Six-Mile Canyon/Fort Churchill Roads: Out of Virginia Cty, Six Mile Canyon Road is an exhilarating descent through giant cottonwoods.  Once through Mark Twain/Dayton you cross Highway 50 and the road becomes Fort Churchill Rd. This follows the Carson River to the Fort Churchill State Historic Park. The brilliance of the cottonwoods going through the fall change is beyond compare. The State Park is worth a day’s exploration including the river trail to Buckland Station.
  4. Lockwood to Lagomarsino Petroglyphs: To the east of Washington Mine out of Lockwood is the direct route along Long Valley Creek. I recommend this as a hike or a very adventurous hike-a-bike. The views up this canyon and the little side canyons are worth it! The foliage against the rugged geology is picture perfect. All of this comes before visiting the petroglyphs, a true heritage site. For an easier bike ride stay to the west of Washington Mine and loop around to the petroglyphs via Louse Town Rd.
  5. The Tahoe-Pyramid Trail: Not enough can be said about this national gem of a trail shared between Nevada and California. Between Lake Tahoe and Reno the trail shows off the Sierra portion of the Truckee River. Between Reno and Pyramid Lake is a slightly less sung portion of the trail but none less noteworthy. Between Mustang and Patrick the McCarran Ranch area showcases the Nature Conservancy’s effort to rehab the river to support wildlife. Between Wadsworth and Nixon the trail takes you through unique geology between the Pah Rah and Truckee Ranges and through some of the largest Cottonwoods I have seen. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitor’s Center is definitely worth a visit.

If I can help with more specifics you can find me in the shop Tuesday through Friday. Otherwise I am out exploring more Nevada backroads. See you out there!

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