Carson City-Lake Tahoe-Reno
The trail begins at Anderson Park, at the south end of Kietzke Lane, Reno. After Reno's Caughlin Fire in November 2011, which affected neighborhoods from Caughlin Ranch down to Bartley Ranch Regional Park, all trails along the slopes between Lakeside Drive and Bartley Ranch's pastureland were closed. The Ranch Loop Trail has now been reopened, connecting Bartley Ranch with the Anderson Park Trail.
To park, there's a gravel pull-out at the end of Nye Road, where it meets Murphy Road. The multi-use Carson City Trail runs between Kings Canyon Road and Combs Canyon Road, passing through subdivisions and among the desert scrub landscape. The trails skirts the western edge of Western Nevada Community College. Portions of the trail are on-road bike lane along Longview Drive and along Murphy Drive between Nye Lane and Combs Canyon Road. The path follows part of the old route of the former Virginia & Truckee Railroad (V&T), the famous 19th-century short line that connected Reno, Carson City, Virginia City and Minden. For 80 years, the V&T Railroad hauled Nevada's bonanza ore to mills at Silver City and along the Carson River. Today, the V&T hauls tourists on a historical journey between Carson City and Virginia City.
Carson City Trail
This west Reno subdivision has lots of trails, including access to Alum Creek, Hunter Lake Rd., and Steamboat Ditch. Access is Caughlin Ranch Parkway off McCarran Blvd.
The following is a list of trailheads that provide access to the wilderness.
The Tahoe Rim Trail and Pacific Crest Trail pass through the wilderness.
• Loon Lake Trailhead
• Buck Island Trailhead
• Van Vleck Trailhead
• Rockbound Trailhead
• Twin Lakes Trailhead
• Lyons Trailhead
• Twin Bridges Trailhead
• Ralston Trailhead
• Echo Trailhead
• Echo Lakes Trailhead
• Glen Alpine Trailhead
• Mount Tallac Trailhead
• Bayview Trailhead
• Eagle Falls Trailhead
• Meeks Bay Trailhead
• Horsetail Falls Trailhead
Permits are required for both day use and overnight camping. In the summer, a quota system is used to limit the number of visitors on any given day in the wilderness. Desolation Wilderness is one of the most heavily used protected areas in the United States.
Huffaker Hills Trails
Huffaker Hills trails are well built and provide an easy to moderate hiking experience. Families with children will find this a friendly hiking area. Dogs on leashes are welcome and the trails are also open to mountain biking. The area is wide open, making it easy for those on the trails to see each other and politely accommodate a variety of uses. The large parking area is gravel. There are several picnic tables, an information kiosk, and porta-potty facilities. There is no water or other services.
Western Loop: From the trailhead kiosk, take the right trail that heads downhill next to the water tank. You'll descend a sagebrush covered slope into a shallow canyon, then begin a mild ascent as you start the uphill part of the loop. The tread becomes markedly steeper after the trail turns left and climbs back to the top of the loop. Continue straight to return to the parking area. The round trip distance is about 1.2 miles.
Twin Peaks Loop: This loop isn't yet an official loop - part of the trail has yet to be built, so it is necessary to retrace your steps on the return trip. From the trailhead kiosk, hike straight up the wide trail left of the sign. You will soon come to a picnic table and unobstructed views of the Carson Range. Bear left at the fork (the right trail is part of the Western Loop) and continue a short distance to the next intersection. (About half way between these two corners you will pass an interpretive sign.) Turn right and begin your ascent of the eastern Twin Peak (4851' elevation). You will soon see a reservoir that stores treated waste water used for irrigation and other non-drinking purposes. There are also wetlands remnants of the large marsh and grasslands area that used to cover this part of the valley (what's left of the original Truckee Meadows). From here, it's a short but steep climb to the summit. From the top you have a 360 degree view of the Reno / Sparks region. There is, however, one minor flaw - part of the northern view is blocked by the 5011' volcanic cone of Rattlesnake Mountain. Out and back on the Twin Peaks Loop is about 1.5 miles.
Reservoir Lookout Trail: Bear left from the trailhead kiosk and hike down an easy slope south from the parking area. You'll be following a fence and soon see a reclaimed water reservoir. At the T-intersection, continue straight to the reservoir overlook for views of wetlands and Alexander Lake, which is fed by Steamboat Creek and other streams flowing from the Carson Range near Mt. Rose. Simply retrace your walk to return to the parking area. To make a loop, return to the T-intersection and turn left, climbing a hill to a junction with the Twin Peaks trail. Go straight on the main path and you will return to the parking area after hiking about a mile.
Sand Harbor to Memorial Point Trail: The short, half-mile trail offers a link to Memorial Point and provides access to many secluded beach and rock areas.
Sand Point Nature Trail: The one-third-mile Sand Point Nature Trail is a handicap-accessible trail with interpretive signs and breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe.
The Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park Spooner Backcountry is a widespread recreational and natural oasis. Spooner Lake, at the intersection of State Route 28 and U.S. 50, is popular for picnicking and catch-and-release fishing. Spooner Lake is a major trailhead for gaining access to the Spooner Backcountry. The backcountry has more than 12,000 acres of forested open space with over 50 miles of hiking and mountain biking. Thirteen miles of the 165-‘mile Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) wind in and out of the park. The TRT is closed to bikes between Hobart Road and Spooner Summit. The segment north of the park, between Tunnel Creek Road and the Mount Rose Highway, is open to bikes even days only. Roaded 4-wheel drive access into the Spooner Backcountry is available out of Carson City via Ash Canyon Road and reaches the park boundary about a ˝ mile from Hobart Reservoir. Other roadways that lead into the backcountry but only allow permitted vehicles include Tunnel Creek Road (west side of park) and Lakeview Road (east side of park). Fishing is allowed two hours after sunset at Spooner Lake. From sunup to sundown there is no overnight parking except for cabin and backpacking visitors. Camping is allowed at no charge (entry fees still apply) only in three primitive, walk-in campgrounds: Marlette Peak, Hobart and North Canyon. Each campground has a toilet and four or five camp sites with picnic tables, fire rings and bear resistant food and trash storage boxes. Dispersed camping is not allowed around Marlette Lake or anywhere else within park boundaries. The backcountry is managed as a non-motorized area to preserve the area’s ecological and recreational attributes. Only motorized vehicles displaying official agency designations or a State Parks motorized vehicle permit are allowed in the backcountry.
There are three main trailheads with reasonable access to Mount Tallac:
Lily Lake trailhead is at the end of Fallen Leaf Lake Road, which has signs from 89, 1/2 mile north (toward Truckee) from Camp Richardson. You'll find a paved parking lot here. Access point for Glen Alpine Trail
Mount Tallac trailhead is located about 3/4 mile north on CA 89 from Camp Richardson, directly across the highway from Baldwin Beach. The turnoff is well-signed. If you are coming from the north, this is first right turn after Spring Creek Road (just after the "25 MPH" right hand curve). If you are coming from the south, it is a left turn about 3/4 mile past the Lake Tahoe Visitor Center. Once you are heading east on this paved road, follow the signs to "Mount Tallac Trailhead". This trailhead is used for the Mount Tallac Trail, and the Southeast Chutes variation
The Spring Creek trailhead, located in the subdivision NW of Fallen Leaf Lake, provides the shortest route to the summit. To get here, follow Highway 89 north from Camp Richardson towards Emerald Bay, then turn left (west) on Spring Creek Road. Coming from the north, the right-hand turnoff is just past the long Emerald Bay switchback. Coming from the south, it is the first left turn after the Baldwin Beach/Tallac Trailhead turnoff. Follow Spring Creek Road up into the neighborhood, always bearing left at the forks until you get to Wiyot Road, where you bear right and run into a dead end. Park here in one of the two turnouts, or park off the road back on Spring Creek. If you are coming on the weekend, get here early. If you're coming after 9 am on a powder day, fuhgeddaboudit... This trailhead accesses the Northeast ridge route.
Easiest option: start at the parking lot labeled "END" just off Highway 88. Hike to Showers Lake for a picnic and head straight back. Amazing flower displays are visible within the first mile. This will limit the hike to under 10 miles and the elevation change will be minimal.
Moderate to Difficult: Hike from Carson Pass (Hwy 88) to Echo Summit (Hwy 50). There's roughly 1500 ft. elevation change in this westbound route.
Strenuous: Hike from Echo Summit to Carson pass. There's roughly 2500 ft. elevation change.
This trip has all the makings for a great day out: it's a beautiful drive and it can be as easy or as strenuous as you'd like it to be. Either way this is your chance to visit natural blooming gardens, alpine lakes and volcanic rock remnants. The flowers are at their peak right in the spring, but the hike is still nice all they way into fall.